The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

fruit and nut bread technique advice

Rick D's picture
Rick D

fruit and nut bread technique advice

I'm interested to hear from other more experienced bakers on a couple of things I observed while making a fig and almond bread today. Basically it was a white flour bread, with dry yeast as the leavening agent. The almonds were slivered, then coursly chopped (many sharp edges), and the mission figs were dried, chopped. Both were added to the dough after the initial and kneeding. I then kneeded for another minute or so to distribute the nuts and fruit. My observations were:

1. The sharp almonds tended to cut through much of the gluten structure.

2. The bread did not seem to rise as much as I tend to see with non-fruit/nut breads.

3. Can someone please explain the "poke" test to me. All I read is to "take your finger and make an indentation in the proofing dough, and if it "slowly" fills in, then it's done. What is not clear to me is How deep an indentation (1mm, 5 mm??), and how "slowly" should it fill in (20 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes??)

Question: are these behaviours typical? The finished loaf looks great, though I won't be cutting into it until this evening for dinner. I'll post a crumb shot later if that'll help, but I"m not too worried. I think it'll turn out fine. Just curious about the above.

Thanks in advance!


Franko's picture

Hi Rick,

The recipe you used and a photo will get you lots of information and advice. Tough to help otherwise.