Fougasse with Rosemary and Seeds


Fougasse is a traditional bread from the Provence region of France, characterized by its distinctive leaf or ladder shape and its crisp crust. Fougasse can be flavored with various herbs, olives, cheese, or nuts, but this version features fresh rosemary and a mix of sesame, poppy, and sunflower seeds for a fragrant and crunchy bite. Fougasse is best enjoyed warm from the oven, dipped in olive oil or spread with butter. It is also perfect for tearing and sharing with your family and friends, as it makes a lovely appetizer or accompaniment to salads, soups, or stews.

Fougasse with Rosemary and Seeds

Preparation and Cooking Time

  • Preparation time: 2 hours and 15 minutes (including rising time) 
  • Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes 
  • Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes to 2 hours and 35 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • This recipe yields 2 large fougasses, each about 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter. 
  • Each fougasse can serve 4 to 6 people, depending on the appetite and the occasion. 
  • A typical serving size is one-quarter to one-sixth of a fougasse.

Nutritional Information

The following nutritional information is per serving, based on 6 servings per fougasse:

  • Calories: 337 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 58 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 589 mg
  • Potassium: 164 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Calcium: 71 mg
  • Iron: 4 mg


  • 500 g (4 cups) of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 10 g (2 teaspoons) of instant yeast
  • 10 g (2 teaspoons) of salt
  • 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) of warm water
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 15 g (1/4 cup) of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 15 g (1 tablespoon) of sesame seeds
  • 15 g (1 tablespoon) of poppy seeds
  • 15 g (1 tablespoon) of sunflower seeds
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Method of Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the water and olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 15 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. You may need to add more flour or water as needed to achieve the right consistency. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  3. Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place them on a lightly floured surface. Cover with a damp cloth and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle some flour on the paper and on your hands. Flatten each ball of dough into a thin oval, about 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, make several slashes on each oval, creating a leaf or ladder pattern. Gently pull apart the slashes to create holes. Brush the dough with some olive oil and sprinkle with the rosemary, seeds, and coarse salt.
  6. Bake the fougasses for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through for even browning. Transfer the fougasses to a wire rack and let them cool slightly before serving.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • To enhance the flavor and texture of the fougasse, you can use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour, or add some whole wheat flour or rye flour to the mix.
  • To make the dough rise faster, you can place it in a slightly warm oven (about 50°C or 120°F) with a bowl of hot water on the bottom rack. This creates a humid and cozy environment for the yeast.
  • To make the fougasse more moist and chewy, you can add some mashed potatoes, cooked rice, or sourdough starter to the dough. Adjust the amount of flour and water accordingly.
  • To vary the flavor and appearance of the fougasse, you can use different herbs, such as thyme, oregano, or sage, and different seeds, such as flax, pumpkin, or nigella. You can also add some olives, cheese, or nuts to the dough or the topping.
  • To store the fougasse, wrap it in foil or plastic and keep it at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat it, place it in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for 10 minutes, or until warm and crisp.

Anticipated FAQs

Q: What is the difference between fougasse and focaccia?

A: Fougasse and focaccia are both flatbreads that originated in the Mediterranean region, but they have some differences. Fougasse is thinner and crispier than focaccia, and has a distinctive leaf or ladder shape with holes. Focaccia is thicker and softer than fougasse, and has a dimpled surface with olive oil and herbs. Fougasse is more common in France, especially in Provence, while focaccia is more common in Italy.

Q: How can I make fougasse without yeast?

A: You can make fougasse without yeast by using baking powder or baking soda as leavening agents. However, the texture and flavor of the bread will be different from the traditional yeast-based fougasse. You can also use a sourdough starter as a natural leavening agent, but you will need to adjust the amount of flour and water in the recipe.

Q: Can I make fougasse in a bread machine?

A: You can make fougasse in a bread machine by following the instructions of your machine for making dough. After the dough cycle is complete, you can shape, slash, and bake the fougasse as described in the recipe.