Fougasse Bread




About: I like cheese.

For me, there is no better smell than the smell of fresh home made bread baking in the oven, and it is a great fun way to involve all the family. Also, it is much cheaper than the majority of supermarket bread and tastes much much better.

Fougasse is a type of bread from south France, which has slashes in to represent a leaf shape.

Note- in the pictures I am making a double sized batch so if you make it yours will only be of half the size.

If you are using dried yeast or another type of yeast follow the instructions that come with it- some have to be activated in the water or need added sugar for example.

This is my first instructable, I hope you like it! Please give me some feedback!

Step 1: Ingredients

The ingredients in bread aren't exactly very fancy. All you need is flour, water, yeast, and salt, but sometimes I like to add some olive oil. Perhaps a small handful of chopped olives too.

Ingredients (makes about 4 fougasses)

500g strong white bread flour (high gluten content)
350ml warm water
10g good sea or rock salt (plus a little more to sprinkle on top afterwards)
10g fresh yeast.
(optional) a couple of spoons of olive oil
(optional) a small handful of olives

(If anyone asks, I'm terrible with imperial measurements, but 500g of flour is about 1lb, and 350ml is about a cup and a half. 10g is two spoons full. Just don't rely on these imperial measurements, Its best if you do a quick internet search and get more accurate figures for yourself.)

It is important to use flour with a high gluten content, or it will not rise as well, but fresh yeast can be substituted with dry yeasts. Just follow what it says on the packet.

Sometimes you might need a little more flour or a little more water, it depends on how humid it is where you live and how old your flour is. Usually, you will just know if you need more or less. 

In the pictures I am making a double batch so yours will not turn out to be as big as mine.

Step 2: Mixing

The name says it all. 

If your salt is not already ground up, use a mortar and pestle or a salt grinder-inator to grind it to a rough powder.

Mix in all the dry ingredients- the flour, the salt, and the yeast, before slowly pouring in the water while mixing. Add any other ingredients now if you want to. 

Keep mixing until it is of roughly the same consistency throughout. This should just take two or three minutes only.

Now  flour your hands and a clean surface and tip it all onto the surface, and then proceed to the next step.

edit- littlered1100 suggests adding the salt after kneading, as It keeps the flour more stretchy and doesn't risk killing any (much) yeast. The only problem with this is that often the salt is less well combined so you occasionally end up with a mouthful of salt but usually you hardly taste any. 

Step 3: Kneading

With the dough on the floured surface, knead it for five to ten minutes. 

There is no right or wrong way to knead dough (usually), just keep punching and folding and kneading until it is a lot harder and doesn't stick to your hands as much. You'll be able to feel when it's done.

Step 4: Leave It to Rise

When you are happy that you have kneaded it enough, dust the bowl with flour (or just get a clean one) and put the dough back in.

Put a tea-towel under the tap until it is wet and then squeeze out as much water as possible, then place it on top of the bowl and leave it in a warm room for an hour or until it is almost doubled in size.

Step 5: Begin to Shape the Dough

After your dough is fully risen, take it out of the room and cut it into four pieces. Try not to be rough with it or you will squeeze out all the air and it will taste stodgy. If you do accidently do this you can let it re-rise back to size again. Sometimes I do this on purpose as it enhances the final flavour as it will be more aged.

Oh, and preheat the oven to full whack now. ours goes up to 250*c or over 400* Fahrenheit. Up to a point, the hotter the better.

Step 6: Continue Shaping the Dough

With a knife, make cuts into each piece so you get a sort of leaf shape. But there is no need to have just this pattern, you could use your creativity and make all kinds of different shapes. I made a smiley face one once.

Optional- Sprinkle a little bit of coarse sea salt on just before cooking, and brush it off immediately before serving.

Step 7: Time to Cook

I find that cooking time varies from time to time, but it is usually around 10 minutes or so. Just set a timer for 8 minutes and keep checking every 2 minutes after.

It will be crispy and just starting to go golden brown when done.

You can let yours cook for a little longer than I did, but I'm impatient so I took them out too early!

Step 8: Enjoy Your Yummy Deliciousiousness

Be careful when taking them out of the oven, because ovens are hot! (duh)

Eat them just a minute or two after taking them out of the oven, they are yummiest when still piping hot!

They are nice with garlic butter and mozzarella cheese...

I hope you liked my first instructable, please give me some feedback on how you found it!



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    17 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Just made this myself tonight!! Still rising though but sooo pleased with myself. I forgot to add salt.. But I guess sprinkling it on at the end will work.


    7 years ago on Step 8

    Using the instructables search and a little help from the MUSTPL I found this delicious looking recipe.

    Sherlock / Merlin / TeaCupTime

    P.S: In your intro you say "For me, there is no better smell than the smell of fresh home made bread baking in he oven". Should it not be "the oven" as opposed to "he oven"?

    4 replies

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice instructable

    a couple of tips from a seasoned (bread)baker... who made many focaccias.
    These are quite similar to the fougasse.

    1. I would machine knead doughs with >=70% water. (700ml for 1000g flour)
    Because at the beginning, it's very sticky. (breadmaker, kneading hooks on hand mixer, Kitchenaid or Kenwood type machines)
    I use my breadmaker on the pizza program(doughmaking only) for small batches 500g/1lb flour. For larger batches, up to 1500g/3lb flour i use my Kennwood-Major.

    2. As long as you use around 2% (20g for 1000g flour) salt, i never had any fermentation problems with a direct (without preferment) dough.

    3. As Mutantflame states in step 5, handle the dough delicately, otherwise you degas it.
    You can degas it, but then you need to give it a final rise, otherwise the bread will get dense.

    4. If possible, use a pizzastone. It gives a much better oven spring. I normally use falling heat. I start very hot, then after i see the first brown spots, i turn down the heat to 180°C/355F.
    For most breads, i try to bake them golden brown. The baking time depends on the largest diameter of your ball-shape-equivalent bread. ( for a flat bread it's the thickness)

    If you are interested in the fundamentals, i made some bread related instructables as well.

    Do you think a bread maker would be okay to make the dough? I'd love to give this a go, but have a badly sprained wrist-- no kneading for me for awhile.

    1 reply

    I reckon it would be fine for the mixing and kneading, but the final shaping should be done by hand and should be cooked as normal. Sometimes I'm lazy and I use an electric mixer (with a dough hook) to knead my dough for me, and I rarely come across problems. In fact, it may be better as it is usually more thoroughly mixed, though you cannot easily tell if it needs more water or flour.

    Sorry for rambling on a little, but the short answer is yes you can, but if you run into problems you will be more likely to be on your own.



    Your bread sounds good but, just a few words of caution. Add the salt at the end of the kneading process rather than mixing the salt with the dry ingredients. It can kill the yeast if the two come into direct contact with each other or, drastically reduce rising of the dough. The purpose of salt, other than to enhance the flavor, is to tighten the gluten and control bacteria. Gluten helps create elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep it's shape.

    Keep in mind you might need to add more or, less flour depending on how old it is and how dry it is outside. ( I need to add more flour during the winter time because I live in an old house and, because of the time of year.) For this reason, it's good to learn how to read the dough. Nice first instructable. :)

    1 reply

    Sometimes I add the salt at the end of kneading, but usually at the beginning. I have noticed that rising times are much slower, but if you can wait the little while extra the taste is practically no different. The problem with adding salt after kneading is that it is less well mixed, so occasionally you end up with a mouthful of salt (yuck)

    I find that here in cold rainy England it's generally cold and wet, and I buy flour in quite small quantities so we use it quite fast, the flour behaves almost the same time after time. However before long you can 'feel' the dough and it becomes quite easy to tell if you need to add more of anything. I think I will post a quick note on this however as for most people the flour quality can vary quite considerably.

    Thanks for your comments littlered1100!


    7 years ago on Step 8

    I include chopped black olives in my dough when I make this and then brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt before baking it gives the bread great color and flavor. My dough mixture is a bit different than yours so I am anxious to try yours!