Fougasse (French-Style Flatbread)

0 Photos

This gorgeous fougasse, a cousin to the more popular focaccia, is edible bread art straight from the South of France. It's so simple to make that you'll most likely nail it even if it's your first time. A special folding technique helps develop the gluten formation and the result — a thin, crispy crust with a light, tender, bubbly inside — is simply amazing! Adapted from a recipe from America's Test Kitchen.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
15 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
16 hrs 55 mins
2 fougasse

As a huge fan of French bakeries, I've admired fougasse from a distance for many years. And by, "from a distance," I mean these beautiful loaves were always perched high up in the corners of some shelving, and used purely as decoration, or so I assumed. They might have been selling them over the counter as well, but I can't tell you for sure, since I was always so distracted picking out my pain au chocolat, pain de champagne, and baguettes.

The point is, I always thought of fougasse as something you looked at, and not actually ate, until I started making them, and I realized they're every bit as extraordinary as those other items I used to line up for. I found the combination of its thin, chewy, crispy crust, and light, airy crumb inside beyond additive. Ironically, all those decorative cuts, which I thought were simply there to make the loaf look pretty, were really the secret to the whole experience. They created lots of extra surface area, which as you know, means more flavor and texture.

By the way, I like my fougasse very well baked. I don't want dry bread, or a charred surface, but I do want the outside as crispy as I can get it, with a nicely browned bottom crust. If you want something a little lighter and more supple, feel free to cut down on the baking time a bit, but either way, I really do hope you give this impressive (looking and tasting) flatbread a try soon.

a whole leaf-shaped loaf on a cooling rack
Chef John


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • cup spelt flour

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 ½ cups water, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal, or as needed

  • coarse sea salt to taste


Prepare the Dough

  1. Grease a large bowl with olive oil.

  2. Combine all-purpose flour, spelt flour, yeast, and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add water and knead until dough is smooth, elastic, wet, and sticky, about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to the prepared bowl. Cover and let rise on the counter for 30 minutes.

  3. Uncover the dough. Wet one hand and grab one side of the dough in the bowl. Pull it up slightly and fold it in towards the center. Repeat this folding technique 6 or 7 more times, turning the bowl slightly in between each fold. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

  4. Repeat Step 3 (above) two more times. Dough will have rested for a total of 2 hours.

  5. Repeat folding technique once more. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Bake the Fougasse

  1. When ready to bake, line a sheet pan with a silicone liner; sprinkle some flour on the liner.

  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pat or press it into an oval shape, flouring lightly as necessary. Cut the oval in half lengthwise into two equal portions.

  3. Shape fougasse: On one piece of dough, fold one end in over the center third, then fold the other end in over top. Dough should resemble a triangle. Transfer dough to the prepared pan. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

  4. Cover both triangles with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and let sit until dough warms up, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; generously sprinkle cornmeal on the parchment. Remove plastic from the dough.

  6. Transfer one piece of dough to a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle some flour over top and use a rolling pin and your hands to stretch the triangle until it's ½- to ¾-inch thick. Sprinkle rosemary over top and press it into the dough. Transfer dough to one of the parchment-lined baking sheets.

  7. Use a pizza wheel to cut through the dough in a vertical line up the center of the triangle; do not cut through the top and bottom edges. Pull dough apart to spread open the cut.

  8. Make two more cuts at the top, one on each side from the center going out toward the edge, making sure you don't cut through the edges. Pull dough gently to spread it out. Make four more cuts, two in the middle, and two at the bottom, and pull dough apart. Make two more small cuts at the bottom. You will have one long cut in the center and 4 going down each side, so the fougasse will resemble a leaf. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let proof for 30 to 60 minutes.

  9. Repeat Steps 6 to 8 (above) to shape and proof the remaining dough.

  10. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

  11. Remove plastic wrap from one fougasse. Brush olive oil over the entire surface and sprinkle with sea salt.

  12. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until beautifully browned, about 20 minutes.

  13. Transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat Steps 11 and 12 (above) to bake remaining fougasse.

    Fougasse bread on a wire rack
    Fougasse French-Style Flatbread. Allrecipes

Chef's Notes:

You can use any kind of whole wheat flour for the spelt flour but if it's very coarse, sift it!

The longer you let the fougasse proof before baking it, the more airy and puffier it will be.

For an alternate shape, roll one piece of dough into a rectangle and make straight cuts across it, without cutting through the edges.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

203 Calories
2g Fat
40g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 203
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Sodium 483mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 6g
Potassium 63mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love