Fougasse is the French version of focaccia, the Italian yeasted flatbread flavored with herbs and drizzled with olive oil. From start to finish, this bread takes less than 2 hours, very little of it active time. It's best served straight from the oven. Herbes de Provence is a classic mix of dried herbs commonly used in its namesake locale. It is available in most grocery stores, or you can make your own using the recipe in the box on the opposite page.

  • Makes 1 flatbread, about 4 servings

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) or 1 scant tablespoon active dry yeast

  • 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence, or 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, and rosemary

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for serving

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast begins to foam.

In a large bowl, or in a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir or process until a soft dough forms. Let stand until the dough begins to rise, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the herbs and oil and mix until blended. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and with oiled hands, shape into a ball. Place on a baking sheet and press the dough out to make an oval leaf shape, about 10" long and 1" thick.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes. Using a razor blade or French lame, make diagonal slashes down the center and along the length of both sides of the dough. Pull each slash out gently to open the holes to somewhat resemble the veins on a leaf.

Bake until crisp and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Tear apart to make individual servings. Serve warm with olive oil for dipping.

Herbes de Provence at Home

Combine equal parts dried savory, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, fennel seed, and lavender. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Reprinted from The Soup & Bread Cookbook, by Beatrice Ojakangas.