Rustic Fougasse Bread Recipe

This Fougasse Bread Recipe makes leafy bread loaves that are lovely to look at AND taste amazing. These beautiful rustic french breads will make any meal special!

Crispy on the outside with a little soft bite inside fougasse are filled with herbs and topped with olive oil, more herbs, and kosher salt. They’re so herby and perfectly shaped you’ll want to make them again and again.

A fougasse bread cooling on a wire rack.
Two loaves of fougasse bread in a towel.

I don’t know about you but my family wanted to immediately identify them as Elven Bread. Not lembas or way bread but more of an Elven everyday staple. I just think they look like Monstera Leaves…

Two loaves of bread on a serving platter.

This Fougasse Bread Recipe is for the GBBO Bake-Along

We’re working our way through Collection 4 on Netflix, and this is Botanicals Week. The bakes for this week were:

  • Signature Bake: Citrus Meringue Pie
  • Technical Bake: Fougasse Bread
  • Showstopper Bake: 3 Layer Floral Cake
Close-up of fougasse bread.

How to Shape Fougasse

Fougasse bread dough is very sticky and stretchy, much like ciabatta bread dough. For this fougasse recipe you’re going to:

  1. line 2 12×16 inch baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. liberally dust the counter with a flour
  3. turn the dough out of the box or bowl
  4. dust the top with flour too
  5. gently pat the dough out
  6. cut it with a bench scraper
  7. set one piece on each prepared baking sheet
  8. set one aside
  9. working on one of the pieces of dough, gently spread it out about 1/2 as big as you want it
  10. then use a pizza wheel OR your bench scraper cut 2 lines in the middle of the shape, like the center vein in a leaf
  11. cut 6 slits on each side of the centerline
  12. use your hands to gently ease the bread dough out, spreading the slits open as you go
  13. pat and enlarge the dough to almost the same size as the pan, but making it wider at one end and slightly pointed at the other end-really you can make it as leafy as you like, have fun with it!
  14. cover and let rise for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats
The finished shaping of fougasse bread.

What Do I Need to Make Fougasse Bread??

Nothing too special! It’s essentially bread with herbs and oil on it.

  • all-purpose flour works well in this recipe
  • bench scraper to cut the dough
  • a dough box for even rising and easy dusting with flour, a bowl will be fine too
  • extra oil for drizzling
  • pastry brush
  • fresh or dried herbs
Fresh leaf shaped bread on baking sheets with parchment paper.

What Kind of Yeast Should I Use? Instant? Active Dry? Rapid RIse?

These yeasts offer the same thing, rise to your bread. What they do is the same, how you add them to a recipe is different. You can use them interchangeably in recipes as long as you use them correctly! Or you can see the third option for the rebels out there.

  • If your recipe calls for Active Dry Yeast and you have Rapid/Instant Rise, use about 25% LESS Yeast for best results
  • If Your recipe calls for Rapid/Instant Rise Yeast and you have Active Dry use about 25% MORE Yeast for best results
  • If you’re using Instant Quick Rise or Rapid Rise can add the yeast directly to your dry ingredients — There’s NO NEED to dissolve the yeast in the water FIRST
  • Active Dry Yeast-Regular Normal Yeast should be mixed with a small amount of the water and flour from the recipe and added that way to make sure the yeast is properly distributed
  • REBEL MODE you can be like me and use EITHER type of yeast like it’s Instant Yeast and just accept that your bake may not be perfect

Finished shape of the fougasse dough.

Feeling intimidated? Try these EASY Rustic Grissini Breadsticks instead. They’re just as impressive and tasty but 100% LESS work! Or the GBBO Floury Baps, almost perfect burger buns!

Yield: 2 Loaves

Rustic Fougasse Bread Recipe

Two loaves of fougasse bread in a towel.

Rustic Fougasse Bread is beautifully shaped into leaves after the first rise. You can top these loaves with extra salt if desired after brushing on the bit of olive oil.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes 20 seconds
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes 20 seconds

Ingredients

  • 4 1/5 cups (500 grams) of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 (350ml) cups warm water 
  • 1 3/4 tsp (10 grams) salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp (10 grams) instant yeast
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil plus extra 
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Dried Herbs  OR 2 tsp EACH fresh snipped rosemary, sage, thyme+1/2 tsp of dried oregano for the top before baking (I used straight Italian Herbs for ALL the herbs in and on the bread) 
  • kosher salt for the top of the bread

Instructions

  1. put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer
  2. put the salt on one side of the bowl
  3. put the yeast on the other
  4. pour 3/4 of the water over the top of the flour
  5. stir to combine for 30 seconds
  6. then add the last of the water, 2 TBSP olive oil, and half the herbs
  7. let the machine mix it until it forms a dough and then let it knead for 4-5 minutes
  8. meanwhile, liberally oil the bowl or resealable box you're going to use
  9. when the dough is done it will be very soft
  10. put it in the box, turn to coat, cover and let rest
  11. let it rise in a warm place until it's at least doubled in size
  12. when it's done rising dust your counter with flour
  13. line two 12x16 baking sheets with parchment paper
  14. turn the dough out and flour the top too
    Light patted dough.
  15. pat out the dough out a bit and cut in half with a bench scraper or dough scraper
    Patting out bread dough.
  16. set one on each prepared pan
  17. working on piece of dough using your fingertips to pat it out about 1/2 as big as you want it

  18. then use the dough scraper OR a pizza wheel to cut to vertical lines in the middle of the bread dough
  19. then make six cuts on each side of the line to make a leaf shape
    Cut slit in the bread, two in the middle and six down each side.
  20. proceed with patting out the dough and gently stretching the cuts in the dough open wide
    Ease the leaf shaped bread into shape.
  21. the dough should be about as big as the pan with one end wider and the other end slightly pointed like a leaf
  22. repeat with the second piece of dough
    Leaf shaped breads ready to rise.
  23. cover and let rise while the oven preheats
  24. preheat the oven to 430˚
  25. when you're ready to bake brush the leave with olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining herbs
  26. bake 20-22 minutes, switching the baking pans halfway through to ensure even bakes
  27. remove from the oven
  28. drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt while on the pan
  29. carefully move to a cooling rack
  30. enjoy while fresh, these loaves don't store too well

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 286Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 93mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 3gSugar 0gProtein 8g

This nutrition information was calculated using a computer program, results may vary.

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