Fougasse is the French cousin of Italian focaccia, an oval white bread seasoned with olive oil and salt cut to resemble an ear of wheat. It’s remarkably easy to make too! In collaboration with Pomora.
My favourite sort of evening meal tends to be a mish-mash of cuisines, using up things in my fridge and freezer and serving a spread with a wide variety of flavours and textures. Throw in a little bit of Middle Eastern, some Italian, maybe a bit of Asian and top it off with a little bit of French. A culinary melting pot of flavours.
I make this French fougasse recipe when I want to make something easy (I am actually really quite lazy), but visually impressive when I’m entertaining guests. The batch photographed above is made with Italian Pomora extra virgin olive oil and I’ve finished it off with some Icelandic arctic thyme salt.
Fougasse is a staple bread from the Provence region of France, similar to Italian focaccia. It is a pretty bread to look at, and it tastes rather fantastic too. The kids love tearing off big chunks of it and dipping it, Italian-style, in olive oil with a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar.
- 500 grams strong bread flour
- 10 grams salt (plus extra, to sprinkle on top)
- 7 grams instant dried yeast (1 sachet)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra, to brush)
- 350 ml lukewarm water
How to make Fougasse dough
- Mix strong bread flour, salt and yeast in a bowl.
- Add the lukewarm water and olive oil.
- Mix with a spoon until combined.
- Turn out onto a floured surface.
- Knead for ten minutes (that’ll give you a good 2k FitBit steps!)
- Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.
How to shape and bake fougasse bread
- Punch down fougasse dough and turn out onto a floured surface.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces (or four, sometimes I make them smaller)
- Roll each half (or quarter) into an oval shape and use a rolling pin to roll it to a thickness of about one inch. Transfer the rolled dough to a piece of baking paper.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully score two cuts down the centre of the bread, and six slashes on either side, as pictured below. Leave to rise a further 20 minutes.
- Brush the fougasse with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and while still hot brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with more salt.
Tips for making fougasse
- I find it’s easier to make four smaller fougasse instead of two larger ones
- Roll your bread out on a piece of baking paper to make transferring it to the oven easier
- use a pizza steel to bake your bread. Preheat it in the oven and your bread will rise beautifully, crisp on the bottom.
- this bread freezes well, simply defrost and warm up in a hot oven for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Video: How to make Fougasse – the French cousin of Italian Focaccia
Fougasse bread is the French cousin of Italian focaccia, an oval white bread seasoned with olive oil and salt cut to resemble an ear of wheat.
Fougasse flavour variations
- sprinkle with flavoured salt – I like Saltverk’s Arctic Thyme sea salt
- red onion, gruyere & rosemary – sprinkle the dough at step 5 after shaping with sauteed red onion, gruyere cheese and chopped rosemary
- mixed herbs – simply sprinkle with your favourite chopped, dried, herbs after brushing with the olive oil. Try rosemary & thyme fougasse, or herbes de Provence
- red onion, cherry tomato & rosemary
- three cheese – sprinkle a mixture of grated Gruyere, Comte and Cantal cheese over the top of the fougasse after brushing with the olive oil
- olive fougasse – knead in a handful of chopped, pitted olives before proving the dough
Pomora Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pomora are a small UK business who works closely with two olive oil producers in Italy – Carmello in Sicily and Antonio in Campania. As their growing regions are vastly different, so is the flavour of their oils.
The way that they work is that you adopt an olive tree from one of their two farms, and in return, you will receive olive oil and updates about how your tree is doing.
Each quarter I receive a shipment of 3 x 250ml tins of olive oil from Antonion’s family farm. The first shipment of the year is a gorgeous olio nuovo, perfect for making a Caribbean Papaya Salad, while the second shipment is a trio of flavoured extra virgin olive oils in rosemary, lemon and chilli. Their chilli oil is my favourite. I love it drizzled on pasta with a rich tomato sauce (and plenty of cheese!). Then, in the late summer, a shipment of extra virgin olive oil arrives. This one is perfect for making fougasse. In the Winter, another trio of flavoured oils arrives in basil, garlic and white truffle flavours.
Pomora are an incredibly delicious, ethical and environmentally sustainable brand of olive oil, and I have been working with them for years. Prices for their quarterly subscription start from 29 pounds per quarter, and I am delighted to say their oil is now available in the USA for as little as 49 U.S. dollars per quarter!
Visit the Pomora website to find out more!
Easy Fougasse Bread Recipe
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- Place flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add the water and olive oil, and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
- Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for one hour.
- Knock back the dough, knead briefly and divide into two pieces.
- Roll each piece into an oval shape about an inch thick.
- Using a sharp knife, cut two slits down the centre of the bread, leaving about three inches between each cut.
- Cut six holes on either side of the centre cuts, and arrange into an ear of wheat shape.
- Cover and leave to rise a further 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven (and your pizza steel, if using) to 220 C/ 200 C fan/ Gas 7.
- Brush each loaf with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and brush on more olive oil and salt while still warm.
- sprinkle with flavoured salt - I like Saltverk's Arctic Thyme sea salt
- red onion, gruyere & rosemary - sprinkle the dough at step 5 after shaping with sauteed red onion, gruyere cheese and chopped rosemary
- mixed herbs - simply sprinkle with your favourite chopped, dried, herbs after brushing with the olive oil. Try rosemary & thyme fougasse, or herbes de Provence
- red onion, cherry tomato & rosemary
- three cheese - sprinkle a mixture of grated Gruyere, Comte and Cantal cheese over the top of the fougasse after brushing with the olive oil
- olive fougasse - knead in a handful of chopped, pitted olives before proving the dough
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Pomora. All thoughts and opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to do what I love: mess up my kitchen and share recipe stories.