Deliciously Easy Rustic Fougasse Recipe
Fougasse is a deliciously rustic Southern French Flatbread typically associated with Provence. It’s the perfect sharing bread, I love to pair it up with sundried tomatoes, vegan feta, black and green olives.
It’s pretty straight forward to make. I like to begin with the flavours that give this bread its signature taste.
In a small pan add a glug of olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary, thyme and a pinch of oregano. The trick is to just let it gently simmer. If you heat it up too quickly you will burn the garlic. The point of this is to infuse the oil with the flavours, which in turn will give the Fougasse that delicious Provencal flavour.
Lets get on with the recipe.
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- 725 g plain flour
- 480 ml warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 satchets active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
Oil & Herb MIx
- 78 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp dried oreganao ( you can use fresh also)
- Heat up the oil in a small saucepan. Toss in the galic and fresh herbs and allow to infuse and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before incorporating it into your dough.
Bread Dough Mix
- In a large mixing bowl add in warm water (see post notes about water temp) and sugar, give it a little mix, then sprinkle in the yeast then let it stand for five minutes unti the yeast begins froth.
- Gradually sift flour with the salt into the yeast mix, don't stir it in just sift it all atop of the yeast.
- Make a small well in the flour and pour in the oil mix, then stir it all intogether until it becomes a rough dough.Rub some olive oil onto your work surface.
- Knead for a minute in the bowl, then turn it out onto the oiled work surface. Continue to knead your dough for 8 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Pop the dough back into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a teacloth and leave it for 90 minutes until dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has fully proved. Punch down gently then divide it into two pieces.Shape each piece of dough into rounds, then cover both rounds with a teacloth for a further 5 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 220 C (425 F)
- Dust one of your baking trays with a some semolina flour or maize flour.
- Take one of the dough rounds and gently roll it out into a rough oval shape. Insert slits at an angle using a pizza cutter. Stretch out the dough to open up the slits, cover with a teacloth for a further 20 minutes and repeat this step for the other round.
- The extra proving gives your bread a soft springy texture. It's the time and love that goes into this bread that gives it flavour and its well worth it.
- Now take one loaf and pop into your oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.Remove from the oven and then add the other one. This is lovely served hot or cold.
Garlic and fresh herbs really add the mediterranean flavour. You can sub with dried herbs if you have no fresh. If you do, reduce the amount you pop in as dried can have a slightly stronger flavour. Too much can make flavour bitter. So add in 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp thyme and combine with 1 tsp oregano. Just make sure you balance well.
Baking Fresh Bread
Baking is one of the most therapeutic excersises you can undertake. Especially during uncertain times like these. It helps to focus and clear your mind and just enjoy the process.
On days when I feel like I’m drowning emotionally, baking always brings me back into my head. Kneading is so tactile it brings me right back into my body, it’s almost grounding.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe and, if you give it a go let me know how you get on.