Fougasse – Traditional Provençal flatbread

You only have to scroll through your social media feeds to see that baking bread had made a major comeback! During lockdown, we are all doing our bit to stay home and stay safe. We’re now visiting supermarkets as little as possible, and with more time on our hands, we’re turning to baking our own bread. Cooking and baking have comforting, calming affects, and can help reduce stress and anxiety, so it’s now wonder we’re all rolling up our sleeves and giving it a go.

Many of the Mirabeau team have been perfecting their skills in baking bread loaves, buns, baguettes and even croissants! We wanted to share with you our fougasse recipe, as it’s quick and simple, and a real showstopper, so should help to boost your confidence and give you a sense of achievement!

Fougasse is a type of French flat bread from the Provence region; a bit like Provence’s version of Italy’s focaccia, but is baked into a lovely ‘leaf’ shape, and is a bit crispier. At Domaine Mirabeau, Ben developed a signature fougasse, adapted from Richard Bertinet’s book CRUMB. “I’ve got fond memories of fougasse from holidays in Provence with my family when I was younger, and decided to create a ‘Fougasse Pissaladière’; a combo of two Provencal dishes. This is essentially a delicious flatbread with sweet white onions, black olives and delicious salty anchovies. What’s not to love?!”

We hope you enjoy this spongy, rosemary-scented flat bread, and that it brings a bit of Provence to your home!

Recipe for two small fougasses

  • 150g cool water 
  • 450g strong bread flour (I’m using T80 as it’s all I can get)
  • 10g sea salt
  • 5g fresh yeast (I used dried)

Ferment:

  • 50g rye flour (I didn’t have any so I used T80)
  • 5g fresh yeast (I used dried)
  • 200g beer

Pissaladière filling

I went for one like a pissaladière, really typical of this region and one with rosemary & salt. 

  • 1 White onion 
  • 1 jar anchovies 
  • 1 handful black olives 
  • Rosemary
  • Salt 
  • Olive oil

Ferment: 

Mix the yeast and flour together then add the beer. Cover with a baking sheet in a bowl and leave for about 2 hours. 

Filling: Sweat onions off with a good pinch of salt over a low heat until soft and caramelised the set aside. 

Dough: Add the ferment to your mixing bowl then add water and flour. Then salt & yeast opposite each other in the bowl. 

Mix together on slow for 4 minute until combined, then turn up to medium for knead for 12 minutes. Your dough is ready when it’s smooth and come away from the bowl. 

Shape your dough into a ball, put in a bowl, cover and leave for 45 minutes. 

Preheat your oven to 250C. Split your dough in two and work into rectangles 1-2cm thick. Add your desired filling to one side and cover with the other half of the dough. I used Onion, Anchovies & Olives for one then chopped rosemary olive oil and salt for the other.

Use your dough cutter to make the whatever cuts you want. Transfer to your baking tray and bake for around 15 minutes until dark golden. Cool before eating.

Recipe adapted from CRUMB by Richard Bertinet