feasting with friends

Fougasse: Two Ways

fougasse8 Today’s post is compliments of the magazine Sift which I mentioned in my Orange Sunshine Coffee Cake post last week. It amazes me how motivated I can get to try new recipes just from a single magazine. And…as I did last week, I’m taking this week’s creation to the Fiesta Friday Party, hosted by Angie @The Novice Gardener. The co-hosts this week are Caroline @Caroline’s Cooking and Elaine @foodbod. Thank you to all three of you for being this weeks official welcoming crew! (In case you’re wondering, yes, I am late for the party! Sometimes real life simply gets in the way…)

My offering today is fougasse.  It is essentially the French version of focaccia (the Italian counterpart). Fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat. Which is what you’re viewing here.

olive & onion fougasseThe original recipe is for a olive and onion fougasse (above). Travis tends to turn his nose up at olives (what’s wrong with his taste buds, I can’t say). In order to please my youngest, I made a second loaf. Enter the pepperoni and Parmesan fougasse (below)!

fougasse9Both were great…especially warm and dipped in a quality olive oil. Give me a bowl of soup and I’ll call it a meal. :))

The recipe process is quite simple…though it does require some planning. The poolish (also called starter or sponge or biga) must be made a day in advance. Additionally, to allow for rest/rise/bake times, you’ll need close to 4 hours on bake day. But it’s worth it…especially if you’re including well loved ingredients as your filler.

olive & onion fougasse




Does anyone else see a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle face in the top of this dough that the filler ingredients are being worked into?  Or am I simply crazy? 😉



  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


Poolish (Starter) Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
1 cup AP flour

Dough Ingredients:
all of the poolish
1/2 cup water
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Olive & Onion Filling
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
3/4 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives


Pepperoni & Parmesan Filling
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 Tablespoon olive oil


For the Poolish
The day before you want to bake, combine the water, yeast and flour in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, cover, and set on the counter to rise overnight.

For the Dough
Add the 1/2 cup water and the flours to the poolish; mix until just combined. Cover and allow to rest 20 minutes. After the rest period, uncover and add the yeast, salt and olive oil. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes by hand or 3 minutes using the dough hook attachment of mixer). Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes. Deflate the dough and turn it over in the bowl, cover and rise for 45 additional minutes.

For the Olive & Onion Filling
While the dough is rising, heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the diced onion. Cook, stirring periodically, until the onions become translucent, and eventually become medium brown. Remove from the heat; set aside and cool completely.


For the Pepperoni & Parmesan Filling

Toss the chopped (diced) pepperoni with the Italian seasoning and the grated parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Set aside for assembly.

To Finish the Dough

For the Olive & Onion Fougasse: Turn out the dough on a greased work surface and knead in the olives and onions. This can be quite messy. If the olives/onions make the dough too juicy, flour your hands generously and use a dough scraper to to pick up and incorporate any dough that sticks to your work surface.


For the Pepperoni & Parmesan Fougasse: Turn out the dough on a greased work surface and knead in the pepperoni/seasoning/parmesan mix and the olive oil. Knead the dough, incorporating the mixture, until it appears evenly incorporated.

To Shape the Fougasse
Stretch and pat the dough into a rough 12×6-inch oval on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Cut a slash down the center of the bread lengthwise (all the way through to the parchment) leaving an inch at each end intact. Cut three diagonal slashes on each side of you center cut (all the way through to the parchment). Use your fingers to enlarge the holes as they will close up a bit as the bread finishes rising and baking. Let the bread rise for another 30-45 minutes, until puffy looking.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the bread for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before serving.


  1. skd

    Thanks to you Nancy, I am learning so many different types of breads. And you make the learning so easy. And oh Yes!! I did see the mutant ninja 🙂

  2. So wonderful, Nancy! So funny, but I picked up the Sift magazine just the other day and was just dazzled by it! Now I just need to take a month or two off work to try all the gorgeous recipes there! I will get to it sometime soon though, and let you know what I am baking… 😀

    • I think I’ll make the pepperoni version again next time there’s a pot of minestrone simmering on the stove! I thought the face in the dough was hilarious! 🙂 Thank you, Judi!

  3. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #58 | The Novice Gardener

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