The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Olive Fougasse

JMonkey's picture

Olive Fougasse

I've wanted to make an olive fougasse for a long, long time, but never got around to it until today. Served it for dinner along with a white bean soup that's a lot like the well-known U.S. Senate Bean Soup recipe.

Here's how I made it.


  • 150 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 grams salt
  • 97 grams water
  • A pinch of instant yeast

Final dough

  • All the pre-ferment
  • 300 grams all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams whole wheat or whole rye or a mix
  • 4 grams salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast (1-2 grams)
  • 40 grams coarsely chopped black olives, pitted
  • 245 grams water
  • 1 Tbs olive oil (optional)

Mix up the pre-ferment the night before, knead it and let it rise 12-16 hours. Once the pre-ferment is ripe (it should have domed and collapsed slightly in the middle), break it up into about 10 pieces and mix with the other ingredients. Develop the dough, adding the olives at the last minute (I sprinkled half on the flattened dough, rolled up the dough, flattened it again and repeated) and let it rise for 1.5 to 2 hours. Shape it into a boule and let it rise, covered with plastic or baker's linen for another hour or so. Meanwhile preheat a stone and a steam pan to 500 degrees F. Once the dough has risen about 50% or more, stretch it to half again its length and shape into a rough triangle. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, make one long cut all the way through the dough down the center, with three others along each side so it looks a bit like a leaf. Stretch the dough to open the cuts.

Bake the fougasse with steam for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees F. Serve warm.


trailrunner's picture

That looks wonderful .  A sign fall is in the air for sure...soup and bread !  Your formulas were some of the very first I made on TFL when I first joined. Can you explain the salt in your preferment ? To slow it down ? And how are you steaming ? Just water in hot pan or something more ?  Thanks and hope you will post more. c

JMonkey's picture

Hi trailrunner! This formula uses a "pate fermente" which is French for "fermented dough" or "old dough". It replicates an old and simple way to improve the quality of bread: make more dough than you need and hold back a portion to include in the next day's bake.

This recipe is based on Jeffrey Hammelman's in Bread, one of my favorite bread books.


dmsnyder's picture

It's nice to see you again on TFL!


dabrownman's picture

JM.  Something about an Italian bread made with a biga and infused with olives to make me want some spaghetti, meatballs and  gravy but soup would he good too. Well done and

Happy baking,

dabrownman's picture

The site ate my comment again and just posted the subject - very frustrating  - oh well.

I think I said that an Italian bread made with a biga and infused with olives makes me want to have some spaghetti with meatballs and Sunday Gravy but, your soup would be a hearty and more healthy substitute.  Well Done and

Happy Baking JM

Janetcook's picture

Nice to see you posting.  Like trail runner said - your recipes were some of the first I tried when I found this site too.  I am a whole grains baker and your loaves fit my profile!  I still recall watching your video of shaping a sandwich loaf with your daughter helping out.  I imagine she is a teenager now!  How time flies.

Anyway, what a beautiful loaf.  The shape and the color of the crust are very inviting indeed.  The addition of olives in the dough can only make it all the better eating.

Take Care,


JMonkey's picture

Good to see you all, too! I still bake, I'm just not online as often. My daughter is nine, so she takes a lot of time, which is gladly given, what with swim team and horse riding and homework and just having fun. :-)