San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Figs
March 3, 2013
I like sourdough breads with nuts and dried fruit, but not very often. They are enjoyed as something special and “different,” but I much prefer an unadulterated San Francisco-style sourdough or Pain au Levain as my daily bread. Well, it has been quite some time since I made a sourdough bread with dried fruit and nuts, and I have developed a craving.
This year, the quality of locally grown dried Calmyrna figs has been outstanding. I've been going through a pound of them every 10 days or so for the past several months. I would eat even more, but my gut wouldn't take it. (Let's just point out that dried figs are an excellent source of soluble fiber.)
I have made walnut bread with my San Francisco-style sourdough several times, and it has been delicious. Therefore, I decided to make a bread based on my San Francisco-style Sourdough with walnuts and dried figs. I took the baker's percentages of the nuts and figs from Hamelman's formula for Hazelnut-Fig Levain.
Total Dough Ingredients
Medium rye flour
Medium rye flour
Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.
Ferment at room temperature for 16 hours.
In a stand mixer, mix the flour and water at low speed until it forms a shaggy mass.
Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes
Coarsely chop or break apart the walnut pieces and toast them for 8 minutes in a 300ºF oven. Allow to cool.
Coarsely chop the dried figs, rinse in cool water, drain and set aside.
Add the salt and levain to the autolyse, and mix at low speed for 1-2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium (Speed 2 on a KitchenAid) and mix for 5 minutes. Add flour and water as needed. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl but not the bottom.
Add the walnuts and the figs to the dough and mix at low speed until well-distributed in the dough. (About 2 minutes)
Transfer to a lightly floured board, do a stretch and fold, and form a ball.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.
Ferment at 76º F for 2 1/2 to 3 hours with a stretch and fold at 50 and 100 minutes.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces.
Pre-shape as rounds and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
Shape as boules or bâtards and place in bannetons. Place bannetons in plastic bags.
Proof at room temperature (68-70º F) for 1-2 hours.
Cold retard the loaves overnight.
The next morning, proof the loaves at 85º F for 2-3 hours.
45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 480º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.
Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score the loaves as desired, turn down the oven to 460º F, steam the oven, and transfer the loaves to the baking stone.
After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus, and turn down the oven to 435º F/Convection. (If you don't have a convection oven, leave the temperature at 460º F.)
Bake for another 15 minutes.
Turn off the oven, and leave the loaves on the stone, with the oven door ajar, for another 15 minutes.
Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.
The crust was crunchy. The crumb was stained by the walnuts and, perhaps, somewhat by the figs. The flavor was very good, mildly sour sourdough with hits of nutty and figgy yumminess. The nuts and figs are sparse enough so the good bread flavor still comes through. This is a bread I could make a meal of. I think it will also be great with a thin spread of butter or cream cheese or with a tangy gorgonzola or sharp cheddar.
This bread is delicious and highly recommended.
Submitted to YeastSpotting