Baking | Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … and a focaccia too #comfortfood #vegetarian #bread

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!”
James Beard

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar FougasseWhole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … nothing can be as comforting as the smell of bread baking. Nothing! And this bread took me by surprise. Rustic, nutty, earthy, full of flavour, great texture and a good bite. I couldn’t ask for anything more in fresh bread, and fougasse is one of my all time favourites.

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Googling for whole wheat focaccia took me to a NY Times feature by Martha Rose Shulman. Recipes for health as it was aptly marked, Shulman says of this bread “What’s called focaccia in Italy is fougasse in Provence. Fougasse, though, is often shaped like a leaf, which is easy to do and very pretty. The nutty, toasty whole grain bread is irresistible.”Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse I couldn’t agree more. If you’ve visited my blog on and off, you might have noticed my love for the French Fougasse. I love the rustic appeal it offers and the fact that you can stuff it with pretty much whatever you like and the flavours call your name. Roasted bell peppers, gouda, fresh herbs, nuts etc. Leaf like in appearance, this flatbread is moorish!

Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse

French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 6The one on top is a  Millet & Whole Wheat Fougasse and below it the French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse It was just the therapy I needed this Monday! The day began like a nightmare! Broken toilet flush 6am. Reversed the car to drop the kids to school and heard a massive THUD! 7am … The engine underplate had broken while wading through the ‘rivers of North India‘ the previous night. When it rains, it really pours; the city was flooded! Thankfully got the kids out of my way and to school, to come back home to find I had run out of cooking gas! {Yes we still have cylinders}. Decided to spring clean and walked straight into a sharp corner which narrowly missed my eye. Blood poured down the side of my face! Mr PAB was in Hong Kong … and I could have wept!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Bravely I did not! I decided to bake bread instead! What a good decision. Nothing like some yeasty dough to drown your sorrows into. It worked like magic. And the recipe came out amazingly good! I could visualize the bread loving younger teen take a deep happy breath as he entered home from school. “You’ve made bread!!”, he’d exclaim, stars in his eyes!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse That is enough to mend a bad day! What I didn’t visualise was how much the dieting diva, carb cutting daughter would love it. I made half of the dough into fougasse and saved the rest for another day {it refrigerates well for a day or two}. With garlic flavouring the dough beautifully, and walnuts and cheddar making it divine, the bread was history as soon as the teens got home!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Recipes like this are seriously therapeutic. I forgot about the car, fixed the broken loo, got the gas going. Left the car for Mr PAB. He would come back and take over everything! I was born to bake, and I was loving it!! The smell of dough rising and bread baking is enough to make the soul happy! 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse With the good verdict on the fougasse, I pulled the remaining dough out of the fridge the next day and patted a focaccia into shape. That came out yummy too. Got stuffed with everything I had on hand, ending up as sandwich for dinner.Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Focaccia

[print_this]Recipe: Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse
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Summary: Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … nothing can be as comforting as the smell of bread baking. The bread took me by surprise. Rustic, nutty, earthy, full of flavour, great texture and a good bite. Couldn’t ask for anything more in fresh bread. Fougasse is one of my all time favourites. Yield: 1 large or 2 smaller fougasses or focaccia, about 12 generous servings. Minimally adapted from NY Times

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

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 340ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 350g  whole wheat flour
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15g salt
  • Filling
  • 100g walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 100g cheddar, diced into small cubes
  • Topping
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil if making focaccia (optional)
  • fresh herbs
  • sea salt for sprinkling over top


  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, or in a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, whole wheat flour, all-purpose and salt and mix together briefly using the paddle attachment. Change to the dough hook and beat for 8 to 10 minutes at medium speed, adding the remaining flour as necessary. The dough should eventually form a ball around the dough hook and slap against the sides of the bowl as the mixer turns but it will be sticky. Remove from the bowl, flour your hands and knead for a minute on a lightly floured surface, and shape into a ball.
  2. {Thermomix:  Place all dough ingredients in bowl of TM and process at Speed 6 for 10 seconds. Then knead at interval speed for 3 minutes}
  3. If kneading the dough by hand, dissolve the yeast in the water with the sugar as directed. Stir in the walnut oil, whole wheat flour, salt, and all-purpose flour by the half-cup, until the dough can be scraped out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, for 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic. Shape into a ball.
  4. Oil a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in it, rounded side down first, then rounded side up. Cover tightly with plastic and let rise in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours, until doubled.
  5. Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into two equal pieces for smaller breads. You can also make 1 large fougasse or focaccia.
  6. Roll one half out to about an 12″ oval, spread half the walnuts and cheddar. Fold over the dough 2-3 times on itself to incorporate the stuffing.
  7. Shape each back into a flattish ball, then fold the bottom third up, & top third down to make an oblong.
  8. Roll into ovals with a flat base, cut slits diagonally, three on each side. Pull slightly to open the cuts, leaf like. {Repeat with other half, else make focaccia with it}
  9. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Cover with cling wrap & leave to double for 35-40 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  10. Preheat the oven to 220C, brush the loaves with olive oil, sprinkle over sea salt and fresh herbs.
  11. 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

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


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