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Rosemary and Sea Salt Fougasse

February 26, 2012

Fougasse is a French loaf, usually found in Provence, which I have been meaning to post for a number of weeks. The leaf shape and rustic quality of this bread is something that absolutely captivates me – it is incredibly pretty. As such, it was something that simply had to find its way to FrugalFeeding, since the quaintly rustic look of my food often belies my decorative deficiencies. As it is a cousin of the Italian focaccia it lends itself well to all manner of different flavourings. Rosemary is always a particularly good choice with bread, since its flavour appears to penetrate a loaf with devastating efficiency. Indeed, despite the fact that only a few sprigs of rosemary were employed in the making of this loaf, the flavour of the rosemary can be easily tasted throughout. The addition of plenty of good-quality sea salt only adds to this. However, as I have already intimated, there is great scope for invention when it comes to bread. Olives, sun-dried tomatoes or chorizo would also make great additions to this superb bread.

Considering what goes into a loaf like this, the price one can be expected to pay in a bakery for such a delight is rather unfair. As you shall see, the cost of the necessary ingredients hardly amounts to anything at all. Yet, many specialist bakeries will charge in excess of £3 per loaf. Of course, such bakeries do need to turn a profit to stay above water in this rather tumultuous financial environment. However, perhaps if those with enough time on their hands – and I realise that not everyone has time enough to bake every few days – could be shown just how easy it is to make delicious bread, then more people would endeavour to do so, thus saving themselves plenty of money over the course of a year.

Rosemary and Sea Salt Fougasse

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

• 500g strong white bread flour

• Two 7g sachets of fast action dried yeast

• 280-300ml warm water

• A few pinches of sea salt

• A few sprigs of fresh rosemary and a little thyme

• Milk enough for brushing

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast and roughly 2 tsp of sea salt. Bring this together into a reasonably wet dough with the warm water. It should be dry enough to knead. Knead the dough for ten minutes, until smooth. Push several sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme into the dough and continue to knead for another minute. Roll the dough out into and cut with a sharp knife (see pictures). Place in a floured baking tray, cover in oiled cling film and leave to rise for an hour or so.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Brush the raw dough with milk and scatter over a very large pinch of salt. Once the oven is hot, pop the loaf in to cook for 30-35 minutes. Spraying the oven with a little water first will avoid too dark a crust. The fougasse is ready when it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Enjoy with a little olive oil.

Cost: Let’s face it, flour is incredibly cheap. Indeed, this loaf should set one back no more than 50p – six times less than the price some bakeries expect us to pay. I’d certainly say that was worth a little of one’s time.

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109 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2012 4:54 pm

    So beautiful!

  2. February 26, 2012 5:01 pm

    Nice loaf there, real bread rocks! You should try an overnight sponge bread too, so easy to make artisan breads.
    Cheers
    Marcus

  3. February 26, 2012 5:05 pm

    Thanks for this recipe Frugal … this is one of my favourite breads; in fact bought one from a French chain earlier! However, I make focaccia sometimes and now you’ve inspired me to try fougasse too.

  4. February 26, 2012 5:11 pm

    looks gorgeous! thanks for the simple, well-written recipe. looking forward to giving it a try!

  5. February 26, 2012 5:13 pm

    What beautiful bread!

  6. February 26, 2012 5:24 pm

    I can easily imagine this one with a spring soup for lunch!

  7. February 26, 2012 5:39 pm

    Pass this one on to my hubby to try … Thanks

  8. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge permalink
    February 26, 2012 6:02 pm

    This is a really beautiful bread. 🙂 I’ve seen it made on tv – you did a great job! I loooove bread of all kinds, but with my lack of ability with doughs in general I’m a bit intimidated to try it. 😦
    I have a pizza dough resting for tonight, a new recipe, my fingers are crossed. I just can’t nail down what I do wrong…should be so easy, just a few ingredients but somehow its usually too dense or heavy, cardboardish. It’s my weak spot for sure.
    So, I will sit and gaze longingly at your gorgeous bread. 😀 Maybe someday I will also be able to create pretty things out of delicious bread.

    • March 1, 2012 5:18 pm

      Thanks, Zoe. I saw it on tv somewhere too. I hope the pizza goes to plan :). I hope you try it someday 🙂

  9. February 26, 2012 6:22 pm

    That’s a mighty fine looking loaf. I have signed up to a bread making day in April and I can’t wait! I think I actually prefer bread making to cake making. This looks much healthier than a foccacia too since it isn’t drizzled with oil.

  10. February 26, 2012 6:38 pm

    What a beautiful loaf of bread! Rosemary in bread is irresistible to me.

  11. February 26, 2012 7:13 pm

    What a beauty! I love fougasse – I’ve made one myself, you’ll find piccies of it in my bread album on my Facebook page if you want to check me out Frugal :). And you’re totally right – its unfair how much artisan breads cost (plus they are never as good as homemade, still warm bread 🙂 )

    • March 1, 2012 5:17 pm

      Thanks! I shall attempt to find it! Artisan bread is often as good as home made, because it is as good as home made (in my experience anyway). But where’s the satisfaction and frugality? 😀

  12. February 26, 2012 7:31 pm

    The bread looks fantastic. I am going to make this tonight.

  13. February 26, 2012 7:35 pm

    Looks amazing. Definitely will try.

  14. February 26, 2012 7:51 pm

    oh this is lovely…I do so miss making my own proper bread (wheat intolerant :(( ).

    This is gorgeous…can’t beat rosemary and sea salt … beautifully presented too. Lovely photos!

  15. February 26, 2012 7:57 pm

    Beautiful! So simple and pretty. I am going to be trying this soon! Thanks Nick.

  16. February 26, 2012 8:21 pm

    how delightfully simple and I Love rosemary in bread, in fact I am making bread today, maybe I will have a go at this one! c

  17. February 26, 2012 8:32 pm

    This looks beautiful! I love recipes with fresh rosemary – so delicious!

  18. February 26, 2012 8:39 pm

    I have always meant to try making fougasse. Those Provençal boulangeries have got nothing on you—looks great!

  19. February 26, 2012 9:33 pm

    That´s such a beautiful looking bread and I can imagine it tastes amazing with the rosemary…I think I´ll make this next time Bread Man isn´t due to call!

  20. February 26, 2012 10:53 pm

    This loaf looks absolutely perfect! I have never tired making fougasse, I would like to try. This sounds like the perfect place to start!

  21. February 26, 2012 11:55 pm

    I’m baking all the time the reason being not so much the cost but the cost for quality. Don’t know over there, but here a loaf of bread on top of costing 10-20 times more than it cost me to bake it, also tastes worse than my attempts….

    • March 2, 2012 9:58 am

      Yes, exactly. One can buy really nice loaves here – but they cost an arm and a leg.

  22. February 27, 2012 3:26 am

    It’s so pretty that it has to be delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  23. February 27, 2012 5:21 am

    Yum! I may have to try that tomorrow.

  24. February 27, 2012 9:21 am

    When I did the day’s bread making course with Richard Bertinet, fougasse was one of the first things we made. It’s so delicious and easy to make, and anything with rosemary and sea salt tastes good…yum 🙂

    • March 1, 2012 5:12 pm

      Oh that sounds cool – I shall have to try one of those day courses – my girlfriend is doing a pasta making one soon.

  25. February 27, 2012 11:04 am

    What a stunning loaf of bread, I will have to bake this some time, thanks for sharing.

  26. February 27, 2012 11:41 am

    Oh this one is a must try!

  27. February 27, 2012 12:11 pm

    Beautiful bread!

  28. February 27, 2012 1:08 pm

    That last photo captured the rustic appeal you mentioned — a beautiful thing indeed!

  29. February 27, 2012 1:53 pm

    looks a good as the ones in the South of France where my home is

  30. February 27, 2012 2:26 pm

    Hi, sorry if this is a repeat of a comment, but I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! I was nominated so I’m passing on the blogging love! (It seems all the comments I left yesterday on the nominees are not showing up, so I’m commenting again). Go to my post for the VBA and click on the green badge. Have fun!

  31. February 27, 2012 2:47 pm

    Bread baking rocks and this looks beautiful!

  32. February 27, 2012 3:22 pm

    This looks great! 🙂

  33. February 27, 2012 4:56 pm

    Beautiful loaf. Baking bread is something I want to start doing on a regular basis.

  34. February 27, 2012 5:28 pm

    That is a beautiful fougassse, Frugal. And so simple! I have to try this. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  35. February 27, 2012 6:48 pm

    Love the rustic nature and leafy shape of this awesome French bread!!

  36. egg me on permalink
    February 27, 2012 7:44 pm

    That’s one pretty loaf of bread. Great stuff. Did you eat this bread plain, turn it into a sandwich, or … ? Either way, must have been tasty.

    • March 1, 2012 5:06 pm

      Thanks! I split it open and drizzled it with olive oil – the only way to eat it 😀

  37. February 27, 2012 9:52 pm

    I want to be your neighbor. I want to be your neighbor and the moment I smell bread baking in your over, I want to invite myself over and demand a slice. *shaking head* This looks so beautiful, Nick. I cannot get over how well-deserved your cockiness is 🙂 hehe

  38. February 27, 2012 10:47 pm

    Well I made the same bread on holiday a few weeks ago such a small World! Did not turn out as good as yours though – I seem to have a bit of a kneading problem when it comes to bread! Tasted good though. I added carmelised red onion to the top which also works well (even if my kneeding doesn’t!)

  39. February 27, 2012 11:23 pm

    what a beautiful bread! I love rosemary….

  40. February 28, 2012 6:10 am

    oh this look fantastic! thanks so much for stopping by, your recipes look really tasty!!
    xoxo

  41. Veronika permalink
    February 28, 2012 10:06 am

    Beautiful loaf – I tend to bake with sourdough, but this may just tempt me to use those sachets of yeast I have been keeping in the pantry for an emergency!

    And to agree with a previous commenter – real bread rocks! There is literally nothing you can buy in supermarket that compares, and the prices for it a local bakery are outrageous. Much, much better to make at home, and the bonus is – when you make it at home, you can make it seasoned exactly the way you like. 🙂

  42. February 28, 2012 2:22 pm

    After making this, my wife and I highly recommend this bread.

  43. February 28, 2012 4:56 pm

    This looks fantastic. I’m admittedly terrible at break making but it’s a skill that I’ve been wanting to put some time into bettering myself.

    • March 2, 2012 9:54 am

      Thanks – if you follow the simple steps and knead the bread for 10 minutes or more (no skimping) you should get better 🙂

  44. February 28, 2012 9:40 pm

    Woah, sound so easy and delicious. I love rosemary… and salt! Can’t wait to try it.

  45. February 29, 2012 3:59 am

    homemade bread is the best…looks so good! If only gluten free baking wasn’t such an enigma haha

  46. February 29, 2012 5:44 am

    Oh, my goodness, this is so impressive.. I think it is a devastatingly pretty loaf for sure!! You’re very talented that’s for certain! I’d love to try this one, I love the whole design idea and the flavors.. I love rosemary!!

  47. February 29, 2012 10:25 am

    I did this yesterdaywith some minor changes (replaced rosemary, thyme with chorizo, and had to cut the rising time a bit as my boyfriend was hungry),turned out great! Thank you for the recipe 😉

  48. March 1, 2012 9:46 pm

    sounds and looks amazing! love your blog!

  49. March 2, 2012 11:55 am

    Lovely loaf of bread! looks sooo delicious, will definitely have to try it!

  50. March 8, 2012 11:30 pm

    Wow! Looks yummy and pretty! Almost too pretty to eat!

  51. March 13, 2012 4:44 am

    Decorative deficiencies, my arse! I love the look of this loaf, and your photos are stunning. I always get a sense of awe when I take bread out of the oven – just flour, water, yeast, and a bit of love can make something so beautiful and delicious! I want a loaf of this right now 🙂

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