If you’ve never heard of Fougasse Bread, you’re in for a special treat. This French classic flatbread recipe, shaped to resemble an ear of wheat, is a definite table centerpiece.
The cousin to the more popular Focaccia, makes this a favorite bread for dipping. Serve with wine and cheese before a meal.
Besides being delicious, shaping your fougasse is always an adventure. More commonly seen with two slices down the center, and three diagonal slices down each side with smooth edges. Of course I decided to let the creative juices flow with a more detailed shape. Wheat has texture and flare, so why not bread right?!
This recipe incorporates citrus notes with a light blend of rosemary and thyme. A lovely flavor combo that is neither to strong or bland. If you’re craving bolder flavors add some onions, or fruit, by folding into the dough before the first proof.
Have fun with this recipe and send me a pic if you decide to make one!
Tips for Fougasse Bread
- Feel free to swap herbs out for your favorite or use all of one flavor.
- Orange blossom water is a soft flavor that can be eliminated if you prefer. You can fine it at most specialty stores.
- Check the temperature of your water to be at 110 F (43 C) to prevent killing your yeast.
- Dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and get smoother with beating.
- Lightly flour hands and rolling pin to prevent sticking.
- When rolling your dough try to keep it at ¼ inch thickness.
- Always roll dough out on parchment paper. It’s too hard to maintain shape of you transfer after.
- Have fun with your design and shape the edges of the dough for extra flare.
- Eat the Fougasse the day you bake it. Try it plain or dip in oil!
Orange Herb Fougasse Recipe
- 2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 ½ Cups (355 grams) Warm Water
- 4.5 Cups (562 grams) Bread Flour
- 1 ½ tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tsp Orange Zest
- 1 tsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- 1 tsp Chopped Fresh Thyme
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Orange Blossom Water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, gently stir together active dry yeast and warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes until frothy.
- In a large bowl hand whisk together sifted bread flour, sea salt, orange zest, rosemary, and thyme.
- Once yeast mixture is frothy, add olive oil.
- Using dough hook attachment turn mixer onto medium low speed and slowly begin spooning in flour mixture.
- Once flour begins to incorporate increase speed to medium high and beat for 4-5 minutes until dough is somewhat smooth.
- Transfer dough to a large lightly oiled bowl, cover and let sit in a warm, draft free location for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.
- Once dough has doubled in size, use fist to punch down air and tip dough onto lightly floured work surface.
- Weigh dough and divide into two pieces.
- Place a piece of parchment paper onto work surface, lightly dust with flour.
- Take one dough piece and roll out to a rectangle or large rounded triangle shape, on the piece of parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, make two large cuts down the center of the dough and three diagonal cuts on wither side to resemble the design of wheat. Feel free to also get creative as I did and add cuts to the outer edges of the dough to create points.
- Gently use flour dusted hands to spread apart the cuts 1 ½ inches with your fingers, opening the dough into a large shape.
- Repeat with second piece of dough, to create two fougasse shaped loaves on parchment paper.
- Carefully slide each piece of parchment paper with dough onto a baking sheet.
- Let dough rest, uncovered for about 30 minutes for a slight second proof to puff.
- Preheat oven to 375 F ( 190 C).
- Gently brush each loaf with olive oil, sprinkle extra sea salt on top if desired.
- Place loaves on middle rack. (Or if not enough space place one on the top third rack and one on the bottom third rack, making sure to swap halfway through baking time.)
- Bake until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Place trays on cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before eating. Best eaten same day as baked.