Sourdough Fougasse, French Leaf Bread Recipe

Fougasse is a traditional French bread.

It is like Italian focaccia in method. But the cuts which give it the distinct shape, also make it crustier because they create more surface area. If you do not have a sourdough starter, then I have a regular yeasted version for you here

Fougasse is such a simple bread to make and the result is amazing. You could also autolyse the flour if you do not wish to knead the dough for so long.

This dough can be flavoured with many different ingredients. Olives is a standard, classic addition. But you could use cheese, roasted vegetables, or perhaps some ham.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the levain

60g (2.1oz) strong white bread flour

40g (1.4oz) water at room temperature if your kitchen is around 21 – 23C (70-73F)

10g (0.35oz) active sourdough starter


For the main dough

210g (7.4oz) strong white bread flour

30g (1oz) wholemeal flour

6g (0.2oz) salt

20g (0.7oz) olive oil

90g (3.2oz) olives

165g (5.8oz) cold water at 7C (44F)

To learn more about dough temperature when using a preferment click here.


Extra olive oil to cover the dough before final proofing.


  1. Make the levain by mixing the water, sourdough starter and flour until no dry flour left. Cover & ferment for 10 – 12 hours.
  2. In a bowl combine the remaining water, levain, olive oil, salt, wholemeal flour. Mix well. Add the remaining white flour. Mix to a dough.
  3. Knead using the stretch & fold method for around 8 – 9 minutes or 500 turns of you want to count. Desired dough temperature 25C (77F). If it is cooler, then it will ferment more slowly. If it is warmer, then it will take less time. Adjust proofing times accordingly and keep an eye on it.
  4. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  5. Add the olives. Fold #1.
  6. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  7. Fold #2.
  8. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  9. Fold #3.
  10. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  11. Fold #4.
  12. Ferment for 3 hours.
  13. Pour oil around the dough. Release it from the bowl and roll it around so that the whole surface gets covered in oil. Place on a parchment paper lined tray and stretch out a little.
  14. Final proof 1 – 2 hours. During the final hour of fermentation preheat your oven to 230C (450F) no fan.
  15. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Flip it upside down if need be to crisp up the bottom during the final 5 minutes of baking.

Enjoy whilst fresh!

Watch the video here

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