Roasted Red Pepper Fougasse

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When interviewers ask me for my favorite bread from the book, I always give the same answer–it’s this gorgeous roasted red pepper fougasse (foo-gass)– a stuffed flatbread originating in the south of France.  It may be because of where I first ate it (perfect fall day, after a bike ride with my wife).  The rustic colors and flavors of Southern France burst out of this flatbread– carmelization of peppers highlighted by thyme, olive oil, and salt.  It’s festive, but so easy to bake from stored dough. 

Preheat the oven to 450F for at least 20 to 30 minutes, with a baking stone and a broiler tray in place to catch water for steam later.  Let’s start with a beautiful red pepper:

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Now, quarter the pepper, discarding the seeds…

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… and flatten the pieces.  I used a cast-iron pan here, but you can use whatever you want, so long as it can withstand broiler heat. 

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Slide under the broiler (or put on the grill, or right on a gas burner)…

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… and char them– if you have a little more red remaining than this, that’s fine too.

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Now dump them into a saucepan and cover them so that they steam their own skins loose— about ten minutes covered (off any heat).  Traditionalists do this in a paper bag but the pan is easier. 

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Peel them with your fingers.  A little charred material will remain, and areas of the red flesh will be darkened.

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Now, roll out one pound of any dough you like, to 1/8-inch (I used the basic Master Recipe from the book).   I’d generally use a non-enriched dough here (no eggs or fat in the dough mix).  Try to form an oval or rectangle.  I assembled mine right on a liberally flour-dusted pizza peel, but you can assemble on parchment paper for an easier slide into the oven. 

Slit one side (as in Mark Luinenburg’s gorgeous photo below), and lay out the peppers on the other side (with their outer, peeled surface facing up).  Sprinkle with thyme and coarse salt to taste.  The salt is crucial to bring out the flavor of the roasted peppers.  Use a pastry brush to paint a little water around the edges to help make a good seal:

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OK, here’s the tricky part.  Fold the slitted half over the peppers and crimp it to the dampened side.  If the edges don’t meet nicely, just trim off the extra with kitchen shears

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Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with more thyme.  If you’re not using parchment paper, make sure that the fougasse is moving well on the pizza peel; if not, nudge some additional flour underneath using a spatula.  

Slide the fougasse onto the hot stone.  Quickly add 1 cup of hot water to the broiler tray and close the oven door.   Bake at 450 F for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  If you rolled the dough thicker than 1/8-inch, it will need more baking to develop nice color and prevent an over-moist interior crumb next to the peppers.  Bon appetit!

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51 thoughts on “Roasted Red Pepper Fougasse

  1. I’ve made this quite a few times now and I have to say it’s one of my very favorites from your wonderful book. It’s a great appetizer to bring to a party…always gets raves.

  2. I wonder if adding some crumbled creamy feta or a nice goat cheese would be out of line?

    Will try this very soon… looks awesome.

  3. I love reading about a technique from the book that I haven’t tried yet… it always inspires me to open to that page and go ahead – last time (naan), with fantastic results!
    I think this’ll be fantastic for dinner with some salad, cheese and a glass of wine… on a blanket by the sea in France with the sun gently – okay, well, that’s enough.

  4. this looks delicious .. somehow I missed this recipe in the book. I’m going to have to give this a try soon – esp since I have everything I need for it already. Yummm!!!

  5. Just threw some rolls in the oven but ooooo, this Fougasse looks great! I guess I have to get back to the kitchen and start roasting some peppers!

    Thanks for the post. As usual, I’m inspired!

  6. I’ve also made this with canned roasted yellow peppers, a roasted egglant/pepper spread, and with pesto. Loved them all. However, with the pesto, you can probably skip the olive oil on top, as it was really oily (but still delish).

  7. Made this yesterday and brought it to a dinner party, where it was sliced up and served as an appetizer, and it disappeared in about 2 seconds, to great acclaim. Really fun to make!!!!!!

  8. Eda: Thanks for your interest! We put lots of free content on the web, but our publisher tells us it’s probably not a good idea to “scoop” our new book on our website! Stay tuned, release date for the new book is 10/27/09, and there’ll be lots of gluten-free recipes in there.

  9. I just discovered your site and can’t wait to get started. Are there any issues with high altitude? I’m in Denver. I bake a lot using old recipes I learned from family members when I was growing up in the southeast. Generally I don’t make any adjustments on bread Thanks! E. J.

  10. Hi E.J.

    You may want to try the recipe as it is and see how it works for you. Some people at high altitudes don’t change a thing and others have to make some adjustments. Here is a post with some helpful info if you determine that you need to make some changes:

    http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=144

    Thanks, Zoë

  11. I always have 2 sourdough starters going in the fridge. My variation of your 5-min bread recipe just uses 1 cup of sourdough starter stirred into any of your recipes in my 6 quart container. Sometimes the water amount has to be adjusted if the starter is wet. Great results with no extra time for me.

  12. Hi David,

    That is exactly what we recommend to people, I’m so glad that it is working for you. how long are you letting it rise?

    Enjoy, Zoë

  13. I let the shape (boule, batard, baguette, rolls, pull-apart, etc.) rise for about an hour, while the oven with stone heats to 500 F. Most bake with steam for about 30 min. A shorter rise leaves the loaf pretty dense. And I always use parchment paper.

  14. Per your adjustment instructions, I’m having great success using my sourdough starter with the master recipe, and baking in a LaCloche. I use 4 hours for the initial rise, and 1 1/2 hrs. for the shaped loaf, or a banneton rise.
    Qhestion, is it possible to add ingredients such as herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, etc., to an individual loaf before shaping it?

  15. David: Yeah, many people prefer a longer rise; it was a tradeoff for us between density and speed.

    Erika: Excellent, yes go with the herbs. Roll them, reform, and rest (1.5 hours if you roll stuff in).

  16. I’m a newbie (joined the club about a month ago!) and I’m loving having fresh bread each night!

    I am wondering if it is o.k to save a handful of dough at the end of a batch and mix it into the next batch in leu of a sourdough starter?

    Thanks!

    P.S. Can’t wait to try the fougasse!!

  17. Hi Kjerste,

    We add a piece of the old dough to a new batch all the time, to jump start the flavor in the fresh batch of dough.

    When you say instead of sourdough starter, do you mean you don’t want to add additional yeast?

    Thanks, Zoë

  18. Thanks! I was just thinking about cutting a step, but still getting a bit of that yummy “sour” flavor. Our batch never seems to last more than 4-5 days, and you said in the book that the older it gets, the more of that flavor you get. We’re thinking of plugging in a beverage fridge in the garage in order to have more dough space! Then perhaps we can make larger batches and the dough can age longer!

    • Hi Erika,

      Yes, I think the container that is 23 cups should hold a single batch. My only hesitation is how tall and narrow the container looks. It may be hard to mix the dough in it.

      Thanks, Zoë

  19. This looked so good I came home from work and pulled off a small piece of dough perhaps a half pound to make a small bread as a test. It looks great however the crust is hard, not sure what I did that caused it any ideas. I used water in the broiler pan.

    • Hi Marianne,

      When you say that the crust is hard, do you mean crisp or tough? Did it soften as it sat? Adding water to the oven actually makes for a crispy crust. This is usually desirable. If your crust was tough and hard, you may want to check the temperature of your oven with a thermometer. Your oven may be running low, which would mean you’d have to over bake to get a nice color. Or, if your oven is too hot, you’ll end up over baking if you bake as long as we recommend in the recipe.

      Let me know if any of this sounds like the issue.

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. Hi Zoe
    Thanks for your note, I need to test my oven temperature. My bread actually looked beautiful and upon tasting it tasted good too the crust actually softened as it sat. I did open the oven door while it was baking to baste the bread as I used the olive oil very sparingly initially. So I cannot be sure of the oven temp or time it needed to bake. Looking forward to making another.

  21. Having made this several times, I decided to make them for the pig roast/rock concert in the woods for our granddaughter’s high school open house. I got up early yesterday morning and made a dozen of the fougasse . I used my outdoor grill, my downstairs oven, my commercial stove oven and my large counter oven! Success. they were lovely, I piled the cooled breads in a wide basket, took them to the party, and during the party, I also made foccaccia on the grill. 75-100 people later, it was all gone. I found a source of great jarred roasted peppers at a store near here too. You may have a run on the recipe book and the web site, as I probably gave the address out to at least a dozen people! It’s a winner!

    • Hi Carol,

      You are a rock star, thank you so much! Which method of baking was your favorite?

      You have a very lucky granddaughter! :)

      Zoë

  22. I baked the red pepper fougasse this afternoon. It was a fairly simple affair. I roasted the red peppers over the stove burners and put them in a paper bag. After I removed the char, I cut them into large pieces (I used two whole medium sized peppers). I rolled out the crust to about 1/8 of an inch thick and then assembled the fougasse. Making the slits is easy. You just use a knife to cut a 2 1/2″ slit into the dough. When you lift the dough onto the peppers, the weight of the dough will open the slits into large ovals. The one mistake I made was oversalting the peppers. Just a normal sprinkling of koshar salt will do. Thanks for an amazing recipe. The taste is delicious and the presentation is just beautiful.

  23. Jeff,
    This recipe is fantastic and everyone that tries it absolutely loves it. One thing I struggle with is getting the fougasse to slide off the aluminium peel onto the hot pizza stone. I generally use a lot of plain flour on the peel but this then forms a layer of raw flour on the bottom of the fougasse which then appears on the bottom lip of friends trying it. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    Paul
    Australia

  24. Thanks Jeff,
    I will give the cornmeal a try and also baking paper which I think sounds like either the parchment or cookie sheets.

  25. im looking for a baguett(?) with roasted red peppers incorperated thoughout the dough, like how chocolate chips are incorporated through out the cookie batter, any suggestions?

    • Ariele: Check out any of the vegetable-incorporating recipes in our second book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, on Amazon at http://bit.ly/3wYSSN

      You can swap the peppers for for the pumpkin in the recipe we called “Peppery Pumpkin and Olive Oil Loaf.” Or any similar from that book. Jeff

  26. Made this yesterday for the first time to take to a gathering that included a chef. Everybody loved it and it looks so beautiful as well! I’m loving your method!

  27. Hi Jeff! I have tried your master boule dough with great success, used it to make skillet flatbreads. Amazing flavor and so very easy to make something for the kids in a hurry! Was wondering if i could use the same dough for a fougasse? Tear the dough out, roll and bake immediately? Wanted to bake a simple one with herbs and olive oil, no filling. How thick do I roll and how long do I bake? Should I let the dough rest at room temperature? Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Hi Suma,

      You absolutely can use the Master recipe to make a fougasse, in fact that is what the recipe calls for. You can follow the directions for the olive fougasse on page 152 of ABin5, but substitute the herbs.

      Thanks, Zoë

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