Been a while since you baked some bread? Me too. Time to get back on that horse… That bready bready horse. So for a bit of a change, I fancied making something fruity. I am a huge fan of a fruit loaf, but they tend to be sweet, very soft and have a close crumb so they err on the side of being cakey rather than bready. With this fig bread I wanted to move away from that and have something that was like a good proper crusty loaf, but with fruit in it! I know that sounds silly, but in my head there is a difference…
Figs are a wonderful fruit, tangy and sweet without being overpoweringly so. Using dried ones in the fig bread means you keep all the punchy flavor but don’t add too much moisture to the dough which could result in the dough rising too quickly (remember moisture feeds the yeast) and falling back on itself, giving you hard flat bread instead of the lovely fluffy loaf you are aiming for. The cracked black pepper gives it a real punch to keep it away from the over-sweet side of sweet, and makes it a perfect match for cheese.
Enjoy this fig bread super-fresh with a full bodied mature cheese – something strong and hard or smelly and gooey – don’t ruin such a wonderful loaf with wishy washy mild cheddar, I would never forgive you.
Fig Bread – Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf)
- 650g strong white flour
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 7g sachet easy blend yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 425-450ml/¾ pint-16fl oz warm water
- 350g dried, ready-to-eat figs, roughly chopped
Fig Bread – Directions
- In the large BrightSpring mixing bowl, sieve the flour, pepper, salt and yeast and mix together. Mix in the olive oil and enough warm water to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a BrightSpring silicone baking mat and knead for around 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. There is no need to flour the baking mat, but you might want to lightly flour your hands.
- Clean out the mixing bowl and lightly oil it. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. When the dough has risen, tip back out onto the silicone mat and knock back. Using your BrightSpring measuring cups, sprinkle over the figs and push gently into the dough. Knead lightly to incorporate. Don’t overwork the dough; it can look quite rough.
- Shape the dough into a rough oval and place in the middle of the BrightSptring mat. Using scissors, slash the top of the loaf and sprinkle over a little flour. Leave it to rise again, uncovered, until slightly swelled, about 10-15 mins (if the kitchen is warm).
- Bake for 40-45 mins until it sounds hollow when you tap it underneath, then cool on a wire rack.