How to Make Fougasse

Updated: Apr. 12, 2024

This fougasse bread recipe is just as good for a special occasion as it is for an everyday loaf.

Fougasse has a fancy name and an even fancier shape, but this beautiful loaf of white bread is more humble than it seems! Known as the sister bread to focaccia, this is a great recipe to have on hand for both everyday breads and special occasions.

What is fougasse?

Pronounced foo-gaas, this loaf is similar to focaccia, but has slash marks that, when the bread is baked, resemble a head of wheat.  Fougasse has Roman origins, but nowadays is associated with the Provence region in the south of France.

Many fougasse recipes skip a topping, or just call for sprinkled sea salt, but there are so many ways to customize it. Our fougasse recipe uses a blend of herbs and cheese.

Fougasse Recipe

This recipe by Taste of Home contributor Holly Balzer-Harz is easy to make yet very impressive, so you’ll look like a French baker in no time. It makes two beautiful loaves, so you can reserve one all for yourself!


  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°F)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes


Step 1: Make the fougasse dough

Mixing Ingredients in a Glass Bowl to make FougasseTMB Studio

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and yeast. In a separate small bowl, combine the water and oil, then add them to the dry ingredients. Use a dough hook and beat on low for two minutes, then beat on medium speed for five minutes. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Stir in the herbs and Parmesan.

Step 2: Rest the dough

Fougasse Dough in a Glass Bowl on a Piece of ClothTMB Studio

Oil a large bowl, then transfer the dough into the oiled bowl. Rotate the dough ball once or twice to grease the top and sides. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.

Step 3: Shape the loaf

Spreading Fougasse Dough with hands to make a Oval ShapeTMB Studio

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly flour your hands and your work surface. Turn the dough out from the bowl and divide it in half, then place each half onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover one dough ball with a kitchen towel and set it aside.

With floured hands, shape the other dough ball into a long oval.

Step 4: Score the loaf

Making Cuts in dough with knifeTMB Studio

Using a sharp knife, make one long cut down the middle of the dough, leaving 1 inch of uncut edge on each end. Then, make four smaller diagonal cuts on either side, so the dough resembles a leaf shape. Stretch the dough as needed to emphasize the cuts.

Sprinkling Dried Basil on a Fougasse DoughTMB Studio

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and set it aside while you shape and score the other loaf. Allow both doughs to rise, covered, until almost doubled, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, dried basil and additional grated Parmesan.

Step 4: Bake

Fougasse on a Baking Paper on Wooden Serving Plate with KnifeTMB Studio

Bake the fougasse loaves until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Let the loaves cook on a rack before eating.

Fougasse Variations

Fougasse is a delicious blank slate, ready for all sorts of toppings to take it to the next level. Any topping you’d like on focaccia, you’ll love on fougasse. Try it with chopped olives and whatever hard, grateable cheese you have on hand, like Parmesan or Gruyere. Or elevate your fougasse by drizzling the oil from sun-dried tomatoes on top before baking. And of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic combo of rosemary and sea salt.

How to Store Fougasse

The best time to eat your fougasse is the day it’s made, though day-old leftovers can still be enjoyed. You can also freeze fougasse. Once it’s cooked and fully cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw, defrost at room temperature for several hours and then reheat before eating.

What to Serve with Fougasse

Fougasse can be a snack on its own, or the perfect accompaniment to so many delicious foods—from appetizers to the main course. Try it with olive oil dip or any creamy dip, or alongside a cheese board with your favorite cheeses. It would be lovely to dip in some warm soup in the winter, or served with a roast chicken and vegetables.