Bread Baking | French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella … #fortheloveofbread

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”
Robert Browning

French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & MozarellaBread we love! French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella … one of the most satisfying, indulgent and ‘would sell like hot cakes’ breads I’ve made ever since I’ve got back into bread baking mode! There’s been a bread baking frenzy of sorts and the net seems  knee deep in dough!French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella I switched into bread baking mode with wonderful wonderful Ottolenghis focaccia and there’s been little looking back. That was a most excellent bread to bake … deep, rustic, complex flavours. The stamp of Ottolenghis culinary brilliance!! It must have been more than a coincidence to find Jamie in Nantes baking focaccia too … whihc is how I walked into the Twelve Loves Challenge. What is that? Simply said, an event  ‘for the love of bread‘!

I missed their August challenge but looks like carbs all the way this month and the bread monster is alive and kicking yeast on PAB! The September Twelve Loaves Challenge calls for Bread with Cheese; for me it meant baking French Fougasse stuffed with cheesy goodness, a bread we LOVE at home.French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella

In French cuisine, fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found (with variations) in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat.

I’ve baked this often, always with fresh yeast and plain flour. This time though, with carbs threatening an overdose, I did a tiny substitution with whole wheat flour and used instant yeast. I also literally stuffed the dough, almost making it a more like a baked sandwich than bread. It was delicious … and disappeared soon! I didn’t have Gouda so used mozzarella instead. Any cheese is good and mozzarella was great … warm, stringy, flavourful, cheesily indulgent.French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella You could always halve the cheese but mine had a good dose ‘For the Love of Bread’ of course! Bread with Cheese Twelve Loaves is kneadlessly hosted by my sweet baker friends – Jamie @ Life’s a Feast, Lora @ Cake Duchess and Barb @ Creative Culinary. They are immensely talented ladies, inspirational too.Sourdough breadAlongside, the very viral FB group on CAL took off and we voted for a bread baking event … it was time to Tame The Yeast Beast. A lot of bread talk took place – dough ‘mentoring‘, recipe swaps, inspirations across the board, ideas exchanged, meals virtually dug into … The flour and yeast industry must be feeling the upswing these days with home bakers doing bread from scratch across the globe!French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & MozarellaNever has it been a better time to ‘break bread’ together. There’s been plenty of bread talk, FAQs, fresh yeast vs instant yeast vs sourdough {sourdough bread above}, why the yeast won’t rise, the brand of flour, the temperature etc. I’m no expert but have found that more often than never it’s the quality of the yeast which plays spoilsport and gives rise to beastly failure!Sourdough breadThis week, I also baked my maiden sourdough bread thanks to Sangeeta who shared some sourdough with us at Veda. My bread didn’t come out looking too good, and the recipe needs some further experimenting. Sangeeta’s posted a wonderful sourdough FAQ on her blog and I now know my bread was pleasantly sour because it was proofed for 3 days. The kids loved the flavour … {Sorry about the photographs. All done in a rainy day hurry}Sourdough breadThose loaves too disappeared pretty soon… some with lunch, and the rest as sandwiches for dinner. Will tweak the recipe and get sourdough confident soon. I want to make a San Francisco Sourdough bread one day … have you made one yet? Until then, here is one of my favourite meal breads for you, a  French Fougasse, almost a meal in itself. Serve alongside a light salad {I did a chickpea salad}, steamed French beans or char grilled broccoli, maybe a soup.

[print_this]Recipe: Bread – French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella
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Summary: Bread we love! With carbs threatening an overdose, did a tiny substitution with whole wheat flour and used instant yeast. I literally stuffed it, almost making it a more like a baked sandwich than bread! Any cheese is good here and mozzarella was great. {Recipe adapted from The Practical Encyclopedia of Baking}. Makes 2 breads {each serves 4}

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes {plus rising time}

  • 350g all purpose flour
  • 100g wholewheat flour
  • 300ml warm water {divided 250ml + 50ml}
  • 1tbsp instant yeast
  • 30g olive oil + 15g for garlic
  • 10g /1.5tsp salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, skinned, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted
  • 200g mozzarella, chopped {can decrease if desired. Can use Gouda, cheddar, well drained ricotta etc}
  • 100g walnuts, chopped
  • Extra olive oil for brushing
  • Sea salt for sprinkling


  1. Squeeze out the roasted head of garlic and mash with 15g /1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Reserve in a small bowl.
  2. Take 50ml of water {lukewarm} & dissolve the yeast into it. Stir the salt and 30ml of olive oil into the remaining water.
  3. Mix both flours, make a well in the centre and pour the yeast/water mixture into it.
  4. Knead to a dough, kneading further on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes, till  smooth & elastic.
  5. Thermomix: Place both flours, salt and yeast in bowl of TM and whiz for 5 seconds on speed 10. Add the water and olive oil and mix on Speed 6 for 30 seconds, then knead in closed position for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Place in an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with cling wrap & leave in a warm place for about an hour until doubled.
  7. Punch down & divide into 2.
  8. Roll one half out to about an 12″ oval, spread half the roasted garlic olive oil mixture on the base, sprinkle over half the bell pepper and half the walnuts. Season lightly salt and freshly ground pepper. Roll up gently like a swiss roll.
  9. Fold over the dough 2-3 times on itself to incorporate the stuffing.
  10. Shape each back into a flattish ball, then fold the bottom third up, & top third down to make an oblong.
  11. Roll into ovals with a flat base, cut slits diagonally, three on each side. Pull slightly to open the cuts. {Repeat with the other half.}
  12. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Cover with cling wrap & leave to double for 35-40 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  13. Preheat the oven to 220C, brush the loaves with olive oil, sprinkle over sea salt and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes till golden brown. Brush with more olive oil as they come out of the oven. Cool on racks. Serve warm {that’s how we love it} or at room temperature.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  • 4 years ago


    am like drooling over this bread…… 🙂

    pata nahi when i will start baking bread myself….im not able to tame the yeats beast abhi tak!!

  • 4 years ago

    What a splendid fougasse! Impossible to resist to such a beauty. Great choice of stuffing.



  • Lisa H.
    4 years ago

    I got the baking bug too, now that weather is warming up… 🙂

    This is a beautiful golden delicious bake n breathtaking photographs… Yummmm 😀

  • Oh my god… will you look at that bread!! this has to be one of your best bread posts.. cant take my eyes off the photographs!!

  • 4 years ago

    I love this and I’ll have to make it soon

  • what a splendid looking bread…this is inspiring me to bake one soon….but I need to know that where do I get instant yeast in Gurgaon/Delhi…can fresh yeast be substituted ???

  • 4 years ago

    Love the dark browns here and there on the fougasse. Great stuffing.

  • Thank you for joining us this month Deeba but more than that? Thank you for this absolutely amazing, gorgeous, mouth watering bread. You have outdone yourself.

    • 4 years ago

      You gimme the creativity GF … and you are too good!! Big hugs! Miss you!

  • Oh the bread looks delicious!!

  • 4 years ago

    Gorrrrrrgeoussss! Stunning! I told you that your breads are always so much more exciting and beautiful than mine and I cannot for the life of me figure out how you get such a gorgeous crust! I am thrilled you baked with Twelve Loaves! Now I do really need to try this recipe! xo

  • Gorgeous bread! It must´ve tasted incredible!

  • 4 years ago

    This crust-the filling-the meal (I want the salad too!). And you apologize for your stunning and quick photos?:)This is incredible and so tempting, Deeba. Thrilled you broke bread with us for the love of bread. You’re an amazing bread baker, my friend. xx

  • 4 years ago

    A meal in a bread. Love it!

  • Splendid!! What a bread… my husband will kill me for not baking like this if he sees this 😉

  • Lovely loaf of bread! And please do not apologize, your photos are stunning 😀

  • 4 years ago

    Drooling over this, this is my kind of bread! Well done.

  • 4 years ago

    Wow! I am always in awe of the sheer number of photographs you manage to get. Amazing looking bread. Sunning photos.

  • 4 years ago

    Nothing like fresh home made bread. The entire process of kneading, waiting and then baking is like a party to me. Not that I was always a bakers but these days I LOVE It 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    Lovely post and a fabulous recipe too…Brilliant photography:))

  • I’ve always loved fougasse they are so beautiful and you’re right a meal in and of itself!

  • 4 years ago

    Delicious recipe and beautiful photos!

  • 4 years ago

    I love your fougasse recipes Deeba! This one is another stunner. I wanted to bake a fougasse this weekend and you are my inspiration.

  • 4 years ago

    LOVE Fougasse and from the looks of it, you did a mighty fine job! We have baked some bread over the past few years and always have the intention to do more, even going as far to buying different flours for different breads but somehow we have scarcely found the time and many bags of expensive flour have had to be dumped (tiny fridge with no space to keep bread flour longer). This may just be the inspiration we need! Well done!

  • 4 years ago

    Beautiful as always!! Fougasse has been on my “to-do” list for a while now, it is just so gorgeous looking! Love the flavors here, too!

  • 4 years ago

    Looks wonderful but I don’t see where you incorporate the cheese.

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