Fougasse With Olives, French Leaf Bread

Fougasse is a traditional French bread. The shape of it is supposed to resemble a leaf.

It is like focaccia, but crustier because the cuts in the dough create more surface area. You can add various fillings. I used olives in this one. I have other fougasse recipes on this site too. A sourdough version and once topped with cheese, bacon and jalapenos. So, if you are not into this, then you can check out the other ones. After all, this is a very customisable bread which can be flavoured with various ingredients. The main thing is the dough, as always. 

The dough has a great flavour because we are using a preferment. This type of preferment is called Pâte fermentée or old dough. You can find many more delicious bread recipes which are made with prefermented flour on the Breads with preferment page. If you have never tried using a preferment, then you should give it a go as it will open up a whole new world of bread baking.


For the ‘old dough’:

60g (2.1oz) strong white flour

40g (1.4oz) water at room temperature if your kitchen is around 20 – 22C (68-71F)

1g (0.03oz) salt

0.1g (0.003oz) dry yeast or three times the amount of fresh yeast


For the main dough:

210g (7.4oz) strong white flour

30g (1oz) wholemeal flour

4g (0.14oz) salt

5g (0.17oz) dry yeast or three times the amount of fresh yeast

15g (0.5oz) olive oil

90g (3.2oz) olives, slightly chopped

165g (5.8oz) water at room temperature if your kitchen is around 20 – 22C (68-71F)

To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


  1. Mix all the ‘old dough’ ingredients and ferment for 12-16 h or until starting to collapse.
  2. Mix, water, salt, yeast, ‘old dough’, olive oil and the flour until all incorporated and no dry flour left.
  3. Knead using the ‘stretch & fold’ method for around 10 minutes. Leave the dough to sit for a few minutes if you find it difficult. The gluten will develop itself a little and make it easier for you to continue kneading.
  4. Cover and ferment for 30 minutes.
  5. Give it a fold and add the olives at this point.
  6. Ferment for 30 minutes.
  7. Fold again. At this point pre-heat your oven to 230C (450F) no fan.
  8. Ferment for 30 more minutes.
  9. Place the dough on an oiled tray, stretch lightly, cover and proof for another 30 minutes.
  10. Drizzle with oil, cut to shape, sprinkle with sea salt.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes and check the bottom. If needed flip upside down and continue baking for another 4 – 5 minutes.

Let it cool down and enjoy.

Watch the video here

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