This crispy slightly chewy fougasse bread is flavored with rosemary and olive oil makes a perfect snack or appetizer when paired with a dip. The recipe makes two loaves so there’s plenty for sharing!
I’ve always thought that the crust is the best part of the bread. If you feel the same way, then this one's for you! Fougasse bread (pronounced ‘foo-gass’), is a type of flatbread, originating in the South of France, that really maximizes the crust factor. The bread is sometimes thought to be a distant cousin to Italian focaccia, but the two are quite different in that the fougasse is thinner, crispier, and chewier.
The great thing about this fougasse recipe is that it is so easy to make yet it is so visually stunning. Presenting it at the table will be sure to impress your family and friends! Not only is it beautiful, but it also tastes fantastic!
It’s also great for tearing off pieces and dipping them into the sauce. I’ve shared a recipe for a dipping sauce as well and encourage you to give it a try.
This is a yeasted dough, so you will have to allow time for the dough to rise on a couple of occasions. Also, I used a stand mixer with the dough hook to make the kneading process easier, but you can knead the dough by hand, it will just take longer.
This is what you need to make 2 loaves.
- Water – you want the water to be lukewarm, which means the water is neither hot nor cold. I run the water over my wrist until it feels slightly warm.
- Active dry yeast – you can find this yeast in the baking aisle of most grocery stores either in small packets or glass jars.
- All-purpose bread or bread flour – look for bread that is at least 11% protein
- Olive Oil
- Fresh rosemary
If you want to make the herbaceous dipping sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Dried herbs – basil, thyme, and oregano
- Salt and pepper (or hot pepper flakes)
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
How to Make Fougasse Bread
Start by adding lukewarm water to the mixing bowl of the stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit for 10 minutes. This time will allow the yeast to wake up. Stir to combine.
Next, add the flour and salt, and using the dough hook, knead the dough on speed #1 for one minute, (you want to start slow, so you don’t end up with flour everywhere!), then increase the speed to #2 and knead the dough for 7 minutes. Now you can add the chopped rosemary and olive oil and knead for a final minute.
At this stage, the dough will be slightly sticky. Tip it out of the bowl onto a flat floured surface and knead it into a ball.
Lightly dust the top of the ball with flour and place it into a bowl to rise. Cover the bowl with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place it in a warm draft-free area, (beside the stove, or in a kitchen cupboard are both good options), until doubled in size. This usually takes 1 – 1 ½ hours.
Once the dough has risen, lightly brush 2 cookie sheets with olive oil, cover with parchment paper and brush the paper with more olive oil.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured flat surface. Divide it in two and shape one into a rectangle and another into an oval shape and place each one on a separate cookie sheet. Brush the bread well with olive oil, cover, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
With a sharp knife, make cuts into the dough to form the pattern. Cover the bread with a clean towel and let it rise again in a warm draft-free area for another hour.
Now you’re ready to bake your bread! Sprinkle over some rock salt and bake the fougasse for 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer it immediately to a wire rack to cool.
This bread tastes great eaten warm out of the oven or when it has cooled.
Tips for making this recipe
- To make the dip, add all the ingredients into a jar, put on the lid, and give it a shake.
- You can shape the dough directly onto pieces of parchment paper (not oiled) to make it easier to transfer them to the oiled cookie sheets. The pieces should slide off the paper easily onto the oiled sheet.
- The bread is best when eaten on the day it’s baked but will be ok the next day too.
You can get creative with the flavours you choose to add to your fougasse bread recipe. Try any of the following or come up with your own!
- Sprinkle over flavored salt before baking
- Toss on some mixed herbs such as thyme or herbs de Provence
- Sprinkle cheese over the top of the bread after brushing it with olive oil (grated parmesan or gruyere would make great options)
- Knead in a handful of chopped olives
This French fougasse bread looks beautiful and tastes wonderful. I hope you enjoy making it for your family and friends!
More Specialty Bread Recipes
Easy Fougasse Bread Recipe
- ¾ cup + 1½ - 2 tablespoons water (lukewarm) (200 grams)
- 1¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2½ cups all purpose or bread flour (at least 11% protein) (320 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
- ½ cup olive oil (divided - more if necessary) (112 grams)
DIPPING SAUCE (OPTIONAL)
- 1-2 teaspoons dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1-2 dashes black pepper or hot pepper flakes (optional)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ¼ cup olive oil (56 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½-1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- In the mixing bowl add the water and sprinkle the yeast on top, let sit 10 minutes, stir to combine.
- Add the flour and salt knead on speed #1 for 1 minute then increase to #2 and knead for 7 minutes, add the olive oil and chopped rosemary and knead to combine, approximately 1 minute.
- Move the dough (it will be a bit sticky) to a lightly floured flat surface and knead into a dough ball, lightly flour the top of the dough and place in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm draft free area for approximately 1 1½ hours or until doubled.
- Lightly brush 2 cookie sheets with olive oil, then cover with parchment paper, brush with more olive oil (3-4 tablespoons)
- Divide the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and shape one into a rectangle and another into a oval shape (about 12x7 inches / 31x19 cm) place each on the prepared cookies sheets and again brush the bread well with olive oil (2-3 tablespoons each), cover and let rest 20 minutes.
- With a sharp knife make cuts into the dough (see photos), cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm draft free area for approximately 1 hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 425F (215C).
- Sprinkle the bread with some rock salt and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Move immediately to a wire rack to cool or eat warm. Serve with the dipping sauce if desired. Enjoy!
- In a small bowl mix the basil, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, combine, stirring or shake in a jar. Stir in some parmesan cheese if desired.