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Dec 16, 2023

Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence and Gruyère Cheese

This fougasse with herbes de Provence and a sprinkling of Gruyère is a crust lover's dream that you can enjoy warm straight from the oven. 

Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence and Gruyère Cheese in a basket.

Fougasse is a French-style flatbread. It's similar to Italian focaccia, but is shaped more like pizza dough, in that it is stretched rather than dimpled. Finally, it's slit in sections to resemble an ear of wheat (or even a ladder) before baking. 

Plus, fougasse typically doesn't have quite as much olive oil as focaccia. 

Both breads are amazing and take well to similar mix-ins. 

Fougasse might be what happens when focaccia and baguette dough get married... a little leaner than focaccia without all of the stress of shaping baguettes. 

A loaf of Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence and Gruyère Cheese and pieces in a basket.

Compared to baguettes, fougasse is super easy to shape and bake. You'll still need some steam, a hot oven, and a baking stone, but you don't need to worry about your shaping too much. Plus, you can add mix-ins and topping. 

Ingredients in this Fougasse:

Active Sourdough starter: If you don't have one, you can create a poolish by combining equal parts flour and water by weight and a few grams of instant yeast and let it sit overnight. 

Olive Oil: Use a flavorful extra virgin olive oil. My favorite is California Olive Ranch followed by Cobram Estate. Both are recommended by Consumer Reports and America's Test Kitchen. I did add more olive oil to the baking pan, more than might be typical with fougasse. 

Pantry Ingredients: Water, salt, instant yeast, and bread flour. 

Herbes de Provence: This is typically a bend of savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon, and lavender. 

Gruyère Cheese: I love Gruyère cheese. It is an Alpine style cheese from Switzerland and often used for quiches. You can also substitute Swiss or Emmentaler cheese. 

Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence in a basket with a jar of herbs.

I've made fougasse with just herbes de Provence, olives and rosemary, and a mini version with sourdough

This fougasse includes a good amount of sourdough starter and includes some herbes de Provence in the dough. It's also sprinkled with a bit of Gruyère cheese before baking. The cheese definitely adds to the flavor. 

Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence and Gruyère Cheese stacked up on a plate.

This recipe is pretty flexible. You can make the dough. divide it, and let the dough ferment in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can make the first loaf right away, and make the next loaf a few days later, kind of like pizza dough. 

This recipe was contributed to the Bread Baking Babes by Feeding My Enthusiasms. She gave us two options, one with sourdough starter, and one with a poolish. I made the version with the sourdough starter. It also includes a bit of instant yeast, but the fermentation time is still longer than typical yeasted dough. I halved her recipe to make just two fougasse. 


First, mix the starter, some olive oil, instant yeast, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough whisk. Add some of the flour and stir it in. Switch to the dough hook and begin adding more flour until you have a sticky dough. Finally, add the salt and a teaspoon of the herbes de Provence and mix. 

Next, let the dough rise for about two hours at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, and then transfer it to the refrigerator to rise overnight. 

The next day, divide the dough in half and shape each half into a leaf pattern, cutting slits into the center and sides to resemble a wheat ear. Cover each with oiled plastic wrap and let the fougasse rise until puffy. 

Sprinkle with herbes de Provence and some grated Gruyère and bake until crispy and golden. 

Whole loaf of Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence and Gruyère Cheese.

Recipe Variations: 

Of course, you can get totally creative with toppings and mix-ins. Any of your favorite herbs will work, especially rosemary. 

For toppings, caramelized onions, roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers, or other cheeses would be amazing, along with fleur de sel. 

You can also mix in a small amount of whole wheat along with the bread flour into the dough. 

Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence and Gruyère Cheese with an olive oil bottle.


Related Recipes for Bread Bakers:

Along with the aforementioned fougasse breads, you yay also enjoy the following focaccias. The topping ideas might pique your creativity:

Christmas Wreath Focaccia

BLT Focaccia

Roasted Pepper and Chile Focaccia

Herb Oil Focaccia

Potato Rosemary Focaccia

Spinach and Olive Focaccia

Cheesy Kale, Tomato, and Chile Focaccia

Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence and Gruyère Cheese with a bottle of olive oil.

After the recipe, be sure to check out some of the participating Bread Baking Babes' versions of this Fougasse. 

Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence and Gruyère Cheese

Fougasse Bread with Herbs de Provence and Gruyère Cheese
Yield: 16
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 1 HourCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 15 HourTotal time: 16 H & 20 M
This fougasse with herbes de Provence and a sprinkling of Gruyère is a crust lover's dream that you can enjoy warm straight from the oven.


  • 227 to 241 grams (1 cup) sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the dough for rising as well as the baking pan.
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (about 100 degrees F)
  • 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 240 to 330 grams bread flour (2 to 2 3/4 cups) bread flour. I used 260 grams (2 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons). Using a wetter dough is desirable.
  • 6 grams (1 teaspoon) table salt
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence for the dough, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Gruyère cheese for sprinkling


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the starter, olive oil, water, and instant yeast, and mix with a dough whisk or a paddle attachment until combined.
  2. Add 2 cups of the flour and knead with the dough hook until fully combined on low speed. Add more flour, one tablespoon at a time. The final dough should be pretty sticky and wet. I only added a tablespoon and a half.
  3. Knead in the salt and herbes de Provence.
  4. Oil a dough rising bucket with olive oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it into the bucket and roll it arount to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 2 hours at room temperature. Transfer the dough to the refrigerator and let rest overnight.
  5. The next day, let the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours. Oil a half sheet pan with olive oil. Divide the dough in half and spread each half out into 10 inch ovals/triangles in the pan. Use a sharp knife or spatula to score the dough down the middle and then cut slits along the sides to resemble a wheat shaft or leaf. Cover each piece with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise until puffy.
  6. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack and heat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  7. Once the dough is ready, brush it with olive oil and sprinkle it with more herbes de Provence and the Gruyère cheese. You can use your knife or sharp spatula to re-cut and spread out the slits at this time if they have grown together while rising. 
  8. Prepare a steam pan on the lower rack with water and ice cubes.
  9. Place the half sheet pan on top of the pizza stone and reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Bake the fougasses for about 20 to 25 minutes, until crispy.
  10. Cool slightly on a wire rack and then serve warm.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

2.17 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.57 g

Carbs (grams)

11.79 g

Fiber (grams)

3.71 g

Net carbs

8.07 g

Sugar (grams)

0.1 g

Protein (grams)

5.32 g

Cholesterol (grams)

2.27 mg
fougasse, herbes de Provence
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Would you like to comment?

  1. Love the use of herbs de Provence and the Gruyere cheese! It looks wonderful and I'll bet it smell great, too. Love the loft you got in the inside...probably due to nice wet dough! It's been a pleasure baking with you Karen. I'll keep enjoying your posts of Facebook.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful fougasse! Herbes de Provence and grated Gruyère sounds like a fabulous combination.

  3. Once again, your sourdough bread looks fabulous. What a very good idea to flavour your fougasse with herbs de Provence and gruyère.

    But now I cannot stop thinking about the wonders of caramelized onions, or roasted cherry tomatoes.

  4. Herbes de Provence and Gruyere.... sounds like my kitchen! The bread looks wonderful!

  5. Those slices and that crumb are just stellar!


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