Fougasse is a type of flatbread that is baked in a wood fired oven, and is from the Provence region in France. It is known as focaccia in Italy and by so many other names in different parts of the world. The Fougasse itself is shaped like an ear of wheat. It’s usually plain but sometimes it has olives, rosemary etc added into the dough.
I’ve been an avid follower of Richard Bertinet, who is a bread baker/ teacher extraordinaire. One of his recipes that has become super famous across the globe is his Fougasse and everyone must simply try it. I haven’t tasted such a tasty bread, seriously. Such a lot of flavor and so simple. Do try it. And the shape is so impressive too – it looks like a lot more work than it is (which is always a good thing for guests) 🙂
As in the words of Richard Bertinet, “I teach people to make a Fougasse because it is simple and yet so impressive looking with a texture that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside”.
By Richard Bertinet
- 500 g bread flour
- 350 ml water
- 5 g dry yeast
- 10 g sea salt
Preheat oven to its highest possible temperature (at least 260 deg C), with a baking stone in place in the oven.
Mix all the ingredients together and keep stretching and folding the dough onto itself until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Flour a portion of your work surface and transfer the dough onto the flour. Form into a ball and place the dough into a bowl, cover with a cloth and leave aside for at least an hour.
Turn the dough out gently onto a floured work surface. Try not to deflate the dough too much. Sprinkle flour over the top of the dough too. Cover with a cloth and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Using a plastic scraper, cut the dough into half, each a rough oblong in shape.
So you now have two oblongs. You can at this point, divide each oblong into 3 triangles or make 2 large Fougasse (which is what I did).
Shape each piece of dough into a rough triangle.
Make 1 large diagonal cut in each piece of dough, making sure you cut right through to the work surface, but not through to the corners.
Make 3 smaller diagonal cuts on each side of the central one. Gently widen the holes with your fingers, and shake off any excess flour.
Lift the dough gently onto a baking tray and slide onto the hot baking stone. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
You could try variations too. I made one with olives, but you can try pesto, onions, roasted red peppers, cheese, any kind of herb… there are so many flavors you can try. Remember to add these ingredients to the dough when mixing, and before leaving it to rest. I added the olives after shaping the dough, by simply pressing it into the dough.