A traditional French bread, this herb fougasse is utterly delicious. Fougasse was featured in The Great British Bake Off 2016. This is adapted from the recipe by Paul Hollywood that featured in the show.
What is fougasse?
A fougasse is a traditional French herb bread. It is perfect for tearing and sharing with friends or family at the table.
Fougasse originates from Provence in France, although similar breads are made elsewhere in France
Some versions are made into the shape of a sheaf of wheat.
R, six, decided that he wanted to help me make the bread, which was lovely.
His sister, who is four, is always helping me in the kitchen, but R isn't quite so keen. He does love bread making however, so maybe that'll be his thing.
Do you need any special equipment for herb fougasse?
For this recipe we used a stand mixer so my son's main jobs were pouring and watching the timer.
This was the first time that I've used my stand mixer to make bread. I usually prefer to make it by hand. However, this is a sticky dough and so it proved much easier to make in the stand mixer.
In fact this was undoubtedly the stickiest dough I've ever worked with! I was worried that I'd added too much water but it turned out really well.
How did our herb fougasse turn out?
So well! We all loved this recipe. There's nothing quite as delicious as freshly baked homemade bread.
It certainly didn't hang around for long.
More Bake Off inspired recipes
Here are some of my other Great British Bake Off recipes. I didn't manage to do last week's pastry week but so far I have made:
- Chocolate, hazelnut and cranberry soda bread
- Vegan apple and cinnamon viennese whirls
- Chocolate jaffa oat bars
Pin this herb fougasse recipe for later
Here's how to make this fresh herb fougasse recipe:
Herb fougasse recipe
- 500 g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
- 10 g fine salt
- 7 g instant yeast in a sachet
- 2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for greasing and drizzling
- 350 ml warm water
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
- fine semolina for dusting
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- Sea salt to finish
- Lightly grease a large plastic container (I used a metal mixing bowl) with olive oil. Line two large baking sheets with greaseproof baking paper.
- Put 500g strong white flour, 10g salt and a 7g sachet of instant yeast into the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. (Don’t put the salt directly on top of the yeast). Add 2 tbsp olive oil and three-quarters of the water (265 ml) and start to mix on a low speed. As the dough starts to come together, add the remaining water very slowly, then mix for eight minutes on a medium speed. Add 2 tsp chopped sage and 2 tsp chopped thyme and mix for a further minute. When ready, the dough will be very elastic and you should be able to stretch it away from the bowl.
- Tip the dough into the oiled container/bowl. Cover and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – about an hour (I left it an hour and 15 minutes and it was definitely more than double by then). The dough should be bouncy and shiny.
- Dust the work surface with flour. Tip out the dough. It'll probably be quite loose - it's meant to be like this. Divide the dough in half.
- Lift each piece of dough onto the prepared baking sheets and spread out into flat ovals. Make two cuts in a line down the middle of the dough with a gap between them (see photo). Paul Hollywood says to use a pizza cutter. I couldn't find ours so I used a sharp knife, but it was pretty tricky as the dough just stuck to the knife. Then make 12 diagonal cuts in the dough, six on either side of the central cuts, forming a leaf design, then stretch the dough out slightly to emphasise the holes.
- Place the baking sheets inside large plastic bags and leave to prove in a warm place for 20 minutes. (I didn't have any large plastic bags so I left it to prove in the open) Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/gas mark 7.
- Drizzle over a little olive oil. Sprinkle over the oregano and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base (they took 25 minutes in my oven). Remove from the oven and while still hot, brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with the sea salt.