Recipe: Garlic, Olive and Parmesan Fougasse

MAKING BREAD IS one of my favourite things to do in the kitchen.  From making a mess with flour to the therapeutic kneading of the dough, and the wonderful yeasty aromas from the oven; I just love knocking up a loaf. Although things are getting better slowly in the UK, a recent trip to Spain reminded me how far away we are of providing quality bread for the masses in this country.  This one is ideal for sharing and is quick to make, as it requires little proving.

I have a ton of new season garlic from Gascony in the kitchen, so that was always going in, as well as a few left over olives I found lurking in the fridge.  I couldn't make this without Parmigiano Reggiano - just a perfect ingredient that every kitchen should have.

You can vary toppings as you please.  Chorizo, red onion and Manchego cheese is another favourite of mine, but a simple Cheddar filling is just as satisfying.

INGREDIENTS (makes one, as pictured)

350g strong organic bread flour, sifted
20g fresh yeast or two sachets of fast action yeast
2 tbsp sugar
175mls lukewarm water (blood temperature)
1 pinch sea salt
Glug of olive oil
6x cloves of garlic, half grated, half thinly sliced
250g Parmigiano Reggiano, 100g grated, the rest shaved
Handful of olives, sliced


1) Pre-heat oven to 180C.  Add the yeast to the water and stir.  If using sachets, just add straight to the flour. In a bowl, add the salt, sugar, olive oil, grated garlic and Parmesan to the flour.  Gradually add the water and mix to a smooth dough.  Knead for about three minutes until the dough can just about hold its shape when pinched.

2) Cover with clingfilm and place in a warm place for 15-20 mins to prove.  The dough should rise in size slightly and give off a beautiful yeasty, beery smell.  Lightly flour your surface, and knead again for a couple of minutes.  
3) Punch the dough out to around an inch thick. Start studding it with the olives, remaining Parmesan shavings and sliced garlic.  Fold the left-hand third into the centre, and repeat with right-hand side, Then fold both into each other.  Take a rolling pin and roll to about half an inch thick. 

4) Place on a lightly oiled tray, but before placing in the oven, put a glass of water in another tray on the shelf below to create steam.  Bake for 25-30 mins. 


  1. I normally make so much bread, but really haven't had the time of late - must resolve that with one of these - minus the olives! Looks great!

    1. Good thing about this one is that you don't really have to leave it to prove!


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