Kalamata Olive Fougasse



2 cups warm water, 100-105 degrees
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour, (1 lb. 3 oz.)
2 teaspoons sea salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage or rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt


Pour warm water into a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast onto warm water and stir until dissolved.

Add flour and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir until mixture forms a shaggy dough. Add chopped Kalamata olives and continue stirring dough until it forms a loose ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 500°F. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and invert onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Divide the dough into two pieces. Let dough rest for about 10 minutes.

Take a piece of dough and gently form into a leaf shape (roughly 14x 9 inches), stretching dough with your fingertips. Take a pizza wheel and make two rows of three slits down each side of the leaf. Brush leaves with olive oil and gently pull apart the slits in the dough with oiled fingers, making big holes in the dough.

Sprinkle with chopped sage (or rosemary) and coarse salt. Let rest about 20 minutes on the counter, until the dough comes to room temperature. Place leaves in 500°F oven and reduce heat to 450°F. Bake 15 minutes, or until leaves are golden brown. If you are baking in a traditional two rack oven with six levels, place pans on 2nd and 4th levels and bake leaves for 10 minutes. Rotate pans from top to bottom to ensure even baking, and continue baking until golden brown, about 5 more minutes.

Serve with Belle Farms extra virgin olive oil for dipping.

SOURCE: Anne Baldzikowski, First Place Winner, Fall Baking Contest, MBCFM

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