Herbes de Provence Fougasse with Crackling or Olives

Aug 18, 2018

The first time I tasted Provençal fougasse was just outside Gordes (sitting outside on this terrasse at my vacation rental in a lovely little quiet hamlet during apéro time (aka an aperitif) with a glass of rosé, pistachios and olives from Provence. In a word – perfect.

The bread’s density offers a simple abundance of classic Provençal flavors – olive, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano and flour (there are many wheat fields in this area). As well, the extra ingredients as filling – crackling and olives (each in a separate loaf) are a wonderful extra surprise inside the bread should you choose to infuse the bread with these additions. 

Dating back to ancient Rome, Fougasse (pronounced foo-gaas – fun to say, right?), what eventually became Provençal flat bread, also led to Italy’s focaccia flat bread. 

Fougasse is a bread that bakes rather quickly due to the slashes in the bread. This cutting design is intended to create the image of a wheat leaf or wheat sheath. As well, fougasse is a dense bread, so do not expect anything light and airy like a baguette. Enjoyed prior to a meal, often with a glass of wine and other simple nibbles as I described above, you can pick up a loaf in Provence or make one yourself wherever you call home. 

Below is a recipe that was adapted from three different recipes – Patricia Wells‘, Rodolphe Landemaine (who Patricia Wells recommends) and this recipe. As you will see in my images, I added the olives afterward rolling out the bread after I initially added them to the dough too soon (pre-rising). If you want to add olives, I would recommend, as the third recipe does and adding them (or the crackling) after the bread has risen and before you roll it out. 

Either way, the Herbes de Provence fills the kitchen with the scents of the south of France and the bread is a good, hearty bite of goodness. Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Herbes de Provence Fougasse with Crackling or Olives
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 8-12 hours
Servings
small loaves
Ingredients
Yeast Mixture
Dough
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 8-12 hours
Servings
small loaves
Ingredients
Yeast Mixture
Dough
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Making the Dough
  1. Mix the dry yeast, warm water and sugar together in a small bowl until incorporated and then let set for 5 minutes. You are feeding the yeast essentially with the sugar, so you will begin to see small bubbles occur in the mixture. This is a good thing.
  2. In the bowl with the yeast add a handful of flour and mix in with the wet yeast mixture until a wet dough is formed. Let sit for one hour on at room temperature.
  3. At a slow speed/pace, add the salt, Herbes de Provence and the remaining flour to the wet dough. Once all the flour is added creating a slightly wet dough (you may not need all the flour or you may need a little more. Knead the dough for 10-12 minutes. When complete, the dough should be soft and smooth.
  4. Place the dough (a ball shape) into a bowl, cover well with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, and up to a couple of days. Allow the dough time to rise to twice its original size (this will be done in eight hours and it will hold unless you touch it).
Making the bread
  1. Heat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large baking sheet in the oven to warm.
  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, punch it down and separate into four separate pieces.
  3. If you are adding crackling: Cube in small squares the crackling (pig or duck's fat). In a skillet, cook as you would bacon - rendering the fat and cooking it until crisp. Drain the fat and keep the cooked crackling.
  4. Add the olives or crackling, if you are using these ingredients, to the dough now before you roll it out.
  5. Roll each ball into a rectangle of about 8 x 5 inches (approximate). Cut three slashes in each bread dough and gently open up the slashes, enlarging the slashed areas. Brush with each bread dough with olive oil
  6. Reduce the heat of the oven to 450 degrees and place the bread (which should be put on parchment paper on a baking sheet) onto the hot pan in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.


7 thoughts on “Herbes de Provence Fougasse with Crackling or Olives

  1. Looks scrumptious
    Shannon. Lovely for sharing with apero. Did you know It’s also an.old fashioned type of landmine!!! In the Loire they have a flatbread called “fouace”. Without olives or herbes but very delicious😊

  2. I have been looking for a good recipe for Olive Fougasse! Our Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle makes an addicting version. The addition of Herbes de Provence will only make it better! Thank you.

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