The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fig Walnut Boule with Shiraz and Raisin Yeast Water

Alpana's picture

Fig Walnut Boule with Shiraz and Raisin Yeast Water

This one is inspired by TFL posts, specifically ones by Yuko & Evon Lim, of breads made with red wine.

My raisin yeast water was ready and raring to go. Till now I have always added a bit of instant yeast to my YW breads for luck. This time I decided to take risk and see if the YW could manage on its own. As this was to be a test for my YW,  I decided to stick to few simple ingredients. First I soaked 100 gms chopped dried figs in 100 gms Shiraz and kept overnight.

I had a  2 build YW levain ready in fridge. First build was 30 gms RYW & 30 gms APF. Added another 60 gms RYW & 60 gms APF for second build and refrigerated overnight.

For the final dough I strained Shiraz from figs, added extra to make 100 gms. Added 160 gms of water to Shiraz. Added YW levain and 310 gms BF. Autolysed for 20 minutes and then mixed 9 gms salt, soaked figs & 100 gms chopped walnuts, till evrything came together. Kept for bulk fermentation. Did 3 S&Fs in first hour.

Got a nice bubbly dough, which had tripled in 6 hours. Quickly folded it over itself on floured surface and kept for second proof in floured plastic basket. I must not have been thinking clearly. Usually, I proof my high hydration doughs on floured tea towels or if I have to use proofing baskets,  I coat them with rice flour. This time I did the unforgivable mistake of putting an extremely wet dough with ordinary flour. And I paid for it. After heating my claypot in 500F oven for an hour, I turned the dough on parchment as ususal. To my horror, only the bottom portion of the dough plopped on the paper and the top got stuck to the basket. I somehow scraped the stuck part down as gently as I could. I gave a thought to re folding the dough and giving it one more rise, but I didn't have time. So I decided to go ahead. How bad can a bread with all right ingredients get? I proceeded to put the dough in DO, turned the oven down to 475F and kept my fingers crossed for next 30 mins till the lid came off. Finally, when I took off the lid, I was pleasantly surprised to see a nice oven spring. Baked for another 20 minutes at 450F, till the crust was nicely dark, the way I like. I should have photographed my disaster, but was too busy feeling sorry for myself. Anyway, the bread turned out ugly, but extremely flavourful & tasty. 

From now on, I am going to have rice flour standing next to me before preparing proofing baskets. Glad that the lesson did not harm the taste of bread. Sweet figs, crunchy walnuts and the subtle after taste of Shiraz (or is it in my mind) made up for the crater shaped bread. And I am finally ready to bake my bread on the strength of  YW alone!


pepperhead212's picture

but that still looks great!  Did you use calimyrna figs?  I ask because I have a huge amount of black mission figs - usually much drier, so I would have to maybe soak them longer.


Alpana's picture

Thanks, Dave. These are brown turkey figs. Black mission figs are drier and sweeter than turkey figs, but 12 hours soaking should be enough. Warming the soaking liquid will also cut down the time.

evonlim's picture

wow,.. beautiful bread :) i could feel your confident as i read your blog. made my day knowing i inspired someone. 

thank you for sharing.


Alpana's picture

Just giving credit where it is due :). Glad you think the breadvis nice.

Mebake's picture

Lovely crumb structure Alpana!

I have had similar deformation of my dough due to usage of wrong flour to dust. Whole Rye flour works good btw.


Alpana's picture

Thanks, Khalid for your compliment and advice. Flouring with rye would have been a nice touch to this bread. Next time I will try rye instead of rice flour.

dabrownman's picture

Even with the sticky part being peeled off, it seemed to work out for you.  Nice save!  Have never used yeast for a boost a YW bake but have used YW in place of yeast to boost SD.  YW is a powerful leaven.    Love the figs and walnuts used with the wine.  Don't you wish the win came through more?

Happy YW baking 

Alpana's picture

I am so happy you like the bread. YW is a real boon for hot weather like ours as the SD really gets too sour for my taste, unless I keep on manipulating it between fridge & room temp to keep it at ideal 72F. Last few times, when I added YW to SD, I got a great flavour by retardation, without all the juggling.

You nailed it right - next time the wine is going to be doubled :)