Fougasse (originally known as "fogatza") is a French flatbread originating from Provence. This no knead fougasse looks complicated and fancy, but is very simple to make and is a perfect bread for tearing and sharing with friends and family.
What is Fougasse bread?
Fougasse, or Provencal Bread, is a wonderful bread for sharing. Or, if you're like me, you don't share it, you eat half in one sitting. Most of the time, this bread is happily passed around the table for everyone to tear off a chunk with their meal.
Fougasse can be likened to Italian Focaccia in its texture and flavours, although, it has more of a crust on top. Traditional Fougasse uses anchovies, olives, and or cheese for flavour, but it can also be kept simple (and flavorful) with chunky sea salt and a slather of olive oil. Moreover, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, roasted garlic or fresh herbs also make excellent companions in this recipe.
Traditionally, Fougasse is shaped into a tapered leaf (or sheaf of wheat) with slashes or holes in the middle of the bread, however, you can shape Fougasse however you like. Don't listen to anyone that says it needs to look a certain way.
Proofing time for this recipe
This recipe is a culmination of several I've been making over the years and is loosely based off of Jim Lahey's very popular no knead bread recipe.
Overall, this recipe comes together quickly and doesn't require a 12 or 8 hour proof; it doesn't even need a second rise. With the right conditions, you can even get this down to a 4 hour proof, however, I suggest erring on the side of caution and giving yourself 6 hours to get a good rise.
I use a small portion of spelt flour in this recipe, but feel free to exchange it for more all purpose or bread flour in equal measure. Spelt adds nutrition, fiber and a richness of flavour.
Important note about garlic
One final note for the record, don't add fresh garlic to your dough...it took several tests to get this recipe right and I had to learn the hard way that fresh garlic will kill yeast and result in a rather dense and lifeless bread. A "flat-bread" in every sense of the word.
Otherwise, this is a fairly forgiving recipe and is awesome for potlucks or to enjoy with family at home.
I love making bread and if you want to try some of my other recipes, feel free to check out these other favorites.
And don't forget the butter. My European Style Dairy-Free Butter is a classic!
No Knead Garlic Fougasse Bread
Fougasse is a French flatbread originating from the area of Provence. This no knead garlic fougasse bread looks complicated, but is very simple to prepare. This version is a basic no knead dough with a 6 hours proof time. Feel free to add other flavourings like roasted peppers, chopped olives or fresh herbs.
- 1 cup (250g) warm water (110'F)
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups (265g) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (75g) light spelt flour or whole wheat flour
- olive oil for basting
- coarse sea salt for topping
In a medium bowl, combine the water, yeast, salt and olive oil. Add in the flours and garlic powder and mix until a rough dough ball forms. Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 5-6 hours or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has doubled, preheat the oven to 450'F. Punch down the dough to release the air and then using a spoon or spatula, form it into a ball and turn it onto itself a few times (note that the dough will be quite sticky).
Flour a large piece of parchment paper and drop the dough ball onto it. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then generously flour the top. Using your hands (or a floured rolling pin) form the dough into a tapered leaf shape about ½" thick.
Using either a pastry cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough with several lines to form a leaf vein pattern. Note that you may need to flour your cutting utensil to prevent any sticking. The dough should spread apart naturally on the cut lines, but you can also use your hands to space out the cuts. Baste the top with a light coating of olive oil and sprinkle coarse salt.
Slide the parchment paper & dough onto a large baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm on its own or with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
You can replace the spelt flour with additional all purpose flour or bread flour. This is a basic dough recipe, so feel free to add other ingredients like roasted peppers, chopped olives or fresh herbs. Don't use fresh garlic as this can kill or retard the yeast and prevent your dough from rising properly.
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