How to Make Fougasse

How to Make Fougasse: A French Artisanal Masterpiece

Embark on a journey through the rustic countryside of France with our guide to making Fougasse, a traditional French bread that captures the essence of artisanal baking. This leaf-shaped loaf, characterized by its rustic appearance and delectable flavor, is not just bread; it’s a work of culinary art. Join us in the kitchen as we delve into the intricacies of crafting this French masterpiece, bringing the warmth of a French boulangerie to your home.


  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs (for garnish)
  • Coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)


  1. Activate the Yeast: In a bowl, combine lukewarm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Mix the Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine bread flour, activated yeast mixture, olive oil, and salt. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  3. First Rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Shape the Fougasse: Transfer the risen dough to a floured surface. Divide it into two equal portions. Roll each portion into an oval shape and then cut leaf-like slits on each side of the oval, creating the classic Fougasse shape.
  6. Add Toppings: Sprinkle chopped black olives and sun-dried tomatoes on top of the Fougasse. Gently press them into the dough. Place fresh rosemary sprigs in and around the slits.
  7. Second Rise: Transfer the shaped Fougasse to the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  8. Bake to Perfection: Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the Fougasse is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Cool and Serve: Allow the Fougasse to cool on a wire rack before slicing. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top for an extra burst of flavor.

Cook Notes:

  • For a crisp crust, place a pan of water in the oven while baking to create steam.
  • Experiment with different toppings like grated Parmesan, caramelized onions, or a dusting of flour for a traditional touch.


  • Herb Infusion: Mix chopped herbs like thyme, oregano, or basil into the dough for a fragrant herb-infused Fougasse.
  • Cheese Lover’s Dream: Sprinkle grated Gruyère or feta over the top before baking for a cheesy delight.

Keto-Friendly Tweaks:

For the Dough:

  • Almond Flour Base: Replace bread flour with almond flour for a keto-friendly Fougasse.
  • Psyllium Husk Binding: Add psyllium husk to enhance the texture and mimic gluten.

For the Toppings:

  • Keto-Friendly Veggies: Incorporate low-carb vegetables like cherry tomatoes or artichoke hearts.

Low Carb Version:

For the Dough:

  • Coconut Flour Combo: Combine coconut flour with almond flour for a low-carb, gluten-free Fougasse.

For the Toppings:

  • Nutty Crunch: Sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts for added texture and a low-carb twist.

Fougasse is more than a bread; it’s a celebration of French baking tradition, capturing the rustic charm of the countryside. Whether you’re following the classic recipe, venturing into keto-friendly adaptations, or exploring a low-carb version, each slice brings forth the soulful flavors of France. As the enticing aroma of fresh Fougasse fills your kitchen and the beautifully adorned loaf emerges from the oven, may the experience be a reminder of the joy found in creating and savoring authentic, artisanal bread. So, embrace the artistry of Fougasse, share it with loved ones, and let this exquisite creation become a cherished part of your culinary repertoire

Tips for Fougasse Mastery:

  • Artistic Slashes: When making the leaf-like slits, be bold and creative. The slits not only contribute to the appearance but also help the bread bake evenly.
  • Olive Oil Infusion: For an extra layer of flavor, infuse olive oil with garlic and herbs, then brush it over the Fougasse just before baking.
  • Temperature Precision: Ensure your oven is properly preheated. The initial blast of high heat helps create a crispy crust.
  • Serve with Love: Fougasse is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. Serve it warm with a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar for a delightful experience.

Keto-Friendly Tweaks:

  • Almond Flour Texture Boost: Add a touch of xanthan gum to improve the texture of the keto-friendly Fougasse, creating a chewier crumb.
  • Seed Toppings: Replace traditional toppings with keto-friendly seeds like chia, flaxseed, or sesame for added crunch.
  • Garlic Butter Finish: Brush the baked keto Fougasse with garlic-infused butter for a savory kick without the carbs.

Low Carb Adventures:

  • Cauliflower Power: Experiment with a cauliflower-based dough for a low-carb alternative, combining cauliflower rice with almond flour.
  • Veggie Extravaganza: Load up on low-carb vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach as additional toppings.
  • Crispy Bacon Bliss: For a low-carb and savory twist, crumble crispy bacon over the Fougasse before baking.

Fougasse is not merely a bread; it’s an edible masterpiece that bridges cultures and flavors. Whether you’re honoring the classic recipe, venturing into keto-friendly options, or embracing a low-carb lifestyle, each variation embodies the spirit of artisanal baking. As you savor the crisp crust, the soft interior, and the burst of toppings, may Fougasse become a symbol of your culinary exploration and a delightful addition to your table. Share the joy of this French classic with those around you, creating moments of connection and appreciation for the artistry of bread making. Embrace the rich history and flavors, and let Fougasse be an expression of your passion for the craft of baking!

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