Posted by: NoCtrlZ | 2011/02/24

Sun-dried Tomato & Thyme Fougasse

Fougasse is a typical Provençal bread which is commonly formed into the shape of a leaf, or an ear of wheat. Pitted black olives and rosemary could be used instead of (or in conjunction with) the thyme and tomatoes.


  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried Yeast
  • 250–300ml tepid Water (2 parts boiling, 1 part cold)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh Thyme, leaves only
  • 100g oil-packed Sun-dried Tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • Milk, for brushing


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and dust a large baking tray with flour.
  2. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl until combined (placing the salt on the opposite side of the bowl to the yeast, so it doesn’t kill it). Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the water until the dough is loose and easy to knead, but not too sticky.
  3. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a lightly floured (or oiled) work surface. Add the thyme and knead for a further 30 seconds, until it is well combined.
  4. Put half the sun-dried tomatoes in the middle of the dough and then fold the edges around it to cover. Knead it for a further minute or two until it is all combined.
  5. Place the dough mixture on a dusted work surface. Shape it into a ball, making sure the top is taught and smooth. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a rough oval shape.
  6. Cut slashes in the loaf to look like a fern leaf with a knife, and then really open the slashes with floured hands.
  7. Push the remaining sun-dried tomato into the top of the dough, then cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, approximately for one hour.
  8. Once risen, remove the clingfilm, brush the dough with milk and place in the hot oven.  Either spray the oven with water before closing, or put a roasting pan full of cold water in the bottom just before you shut the door – this will prevent a crust from forming too quickly and will help to ensure a good rise.
  9. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the bread is well-risen and golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack (or, for that true French Boulangerie feel, hang it up somewhere!)

Tip: Really make sure you open those slits up! Whilst the bread is rising, and during the bake, they will close up if they are too small.

Here’s the fougasse just before baking:


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