Fig and Walnut Bread

Fig and Walnut BreadMakes 2 loaves

850g strong white bread flour (you can use strong wholemeal bread flour if you prefer, or even a mix of both).
7g sachet of dry active yeast
2 tsp salt
450ml milk
100 ml water
60g butter
2 tbsp honey
150g dried figs
150g walnuts (chopped)


1) Measure the flour into a large bowl and add the yeast and salt.
2) Add the milk, water, butter and honey to a pan and warm gently until the butter has melted and let it cool slightly to (if it is too hot the mixture will denature the yeast and the bread won’t rise).
3) Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix together.
4) Turn the mixture on to a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, then place the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave it to rise for about an hour (or until it has doubled in size).
5) After about 50 minutes of rising time place the figs into a small amount of boiling water (just enough to cover them) for 10 minutes.
6) Remove the figs from the water and chop into smaller pieces. Chop the walnuts too.
5) Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface again and stretch it out into a large rectangle and spread the walnuts and fig pieces across the dough (like in the picture below).

Fig and Walnut Bread6) Then knead the new additions into the dough. I tend to fold the dough over to begin with to keep most of the walnuts and figs inside the dough at the beginning or it can get very sticky. Once you start working with the dough some of them will reach the surface and burst through.
7) Cut the dough into two pieces and shape them to make two balls of dough in the shape you would like them. Make a few lines with a knife across the top. Then set the two loaves aside on well floured boards for about another hour. During this time preheat the over to 220oC.

Fig and Walnut Bread8) When the hour is up place the trays you wish to bake the bread on into the pre-heated oven for a few minutes along with a roasting tray on the very bottom of the over. Meanwhile boil the kettle.
9) Once the kettle has boiled transfer the dough to the baking trays and place in the oven (preferably on the same shelf if your oven if big enough). Before you close the oven pour some of the boiled water into the tray at the bottom of the oven, this will create some steam in the oven and help make the crisp crust on the bread.
10) Bake for 10 minutes at 220oCand then turn the oven down to 190oC for another 20-25 minutes.

Fig and Walnut Bread

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