Heart Shaped Fougasse | Valentine’s Day Bread

This cold bulk fermented fougasse is the prefect bread for Valentine’s Day. Laced with delicious olives and topped with parmesan it will melt every bread lover’s heart.

Fougasse is a French bread usually shaped like a leaf. It is like a focaccia, but crustier as the cuts create more surface area. There are a few fougasse recipes on my channel, but this one is the best one.

Cold bulk fermentation gives it a distinct flavour which is stronger than a regular fougasse. Another advantage of this method is that it gives great flexibility of when to bake the bread. You can leave it in the fridge for longer if you are not ready or you can pull it out sooner.

If you are not into olives, then feel free to leave them out. You can top the fougasse with anything you like. Thyme and parmesan were my choices this time and they work well.

The shaping is also up to you. It does not have to be a heart shaped Valentine’s bread. You can enjoy it any day of the year and shape it every which way you like.

This recipe makes one loaf large enough for two people. It goes well with some roasted pepper mezze or baba ghanoush. Hummus would be a great accompaniment too.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

220g white bread flour

30g whole wheat flour

5g salt

3g instant dry yeast or 3.6g active dry yeast or 9g fresh yeast

20g olive oil

170g cold water *

*To learn more about dough temperature control click here.

90g olives, quartered


For topping –

Parmesan cheese

Thyme leaves


  1. In a large bowl combine the water, yeast, salt, oil, and whole wheat flour. Mix well to dissolve the salt and hydrate the yeast. Add the white flour and mix to a dough.
  2. Tip the dough out on the table and leave it to rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Knead using the stetch & fold method for 7 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 22 – 23C (F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
  4. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
  5. Stretch the dough out and sprinkle with the olives. Fold up.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. Fold.
  8. Cold ferment for 12 – 18 hours.
  9. Stretch the dough out on non-stick paper.
  10. Final proof 2 – 3 hours until well puffed up. *During the final hour of fermentation preheat your oven to 230C (F) fan off. If you have a baking steel or stone, then preheat it too.
  11. Sprinkle the dough with parmesan and thyme. Score and finish stretching.
  12. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes.

Enjoy whilst warm and fresh. Some olives and roasted pepper mezze go perfectly with this.



Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.

Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.

Watch the video here

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