Rosemary and Sea Salt Fougasse

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.

109 thoughts on “Rosemary and Sea Salt Fougasse

  1. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge

    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. :D Maybe someday I will also be able to create pretty things out of delicious bread.

  2. thebigfatnoodle

    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.

  3. jobakes

    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 :) )

    1. frugalfeeding

      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? :D

  4. Viviane

    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!

  5. PolaM

    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….

  6. thelittleloaf

    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 :-)

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  8. terriskitchenuk

    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!

  9. egg me on

    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.

  10. Cara

    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

  11. cakeboule

    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!)

  12. Veronika

    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. :)

  13. Just A Smidgen

    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!!

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  15. Korena in the Kitchen

    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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