The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Farmer's Market Week 29 (Fig n Fennel)

golgi70's picture

Farmer's Market Week 29 (Fig n Fennel)

So last year when this little project began I wanted to work with untested formulas and move on week to week.  I've decided that this year I'll go back and fine tune some of my favorites that can sure use a little tweaking.  I'm sure I'll throw together some new formulas as well but this sounds like more fun.

I got some great local figs a few weeks ago and figured it's time for a Fig n' Fennel redux.  Last time it was delish but needed an increase in Figs and why not get the whole grain count up.  I am waiting on the arrival of my NutriMill so I can start fresh milling at home but was a offered a demo from a local lady who has one and we ground some local Hard Red Spring Wheat (Kalse variety) and some Hard White Wheat from a farm in Oregon that she uses.  She had me take what we ground and I figured the Hard White Wheat would be a perfect fit for the Fig n Fennel.  I couldn't resist but make a bread with fresh milled flour and did a batch of Chico Nut Bread with the Spring Wheat.  I could have held back a few % on hydration (109%) but got a lovely loaf none the less.  

As I already mentioned this loaf would have come a little cleaner and taller had I cut back a touch on hydration.  Maybe down to 105% and it would have been just right.  This is hands down the best Whole Wheat Walnut bread.  Thanks Dave Miller.  


Fig n Fennel (50% Whole Grain)


Levain: (77% Hyd) 4 Hours @ 78 F
20 Seed (66% Hyd) (60/40)
20 Hard White Wheat
20 Artisan
32 H20
Rye Sour: (100% Hyd) 12 hours @ 72F
1      Seed
7.5   Rye Flour
7.5    H20

-13    Rye
-307  Hard White Wheat
-320  AP
547   H20
175   Dry Mission Figs, stemmed and halved
7       Fennel Seeds,  Toasted
14     Salt
Total Flour:    700    (8.5% PF)
Total H20:      595    (85% Hyd)
Total Dough:  1491  (2 @ 745g)  
1) Autolyse 1 hour with fennel hold back 5% h20
2) Add levain/rye sour with 1/2 of h20 and mix to combine well
3) Add salt with remaining water and adjust hydration further if necessary. Mix until moderate gluten development.
4) Bulk 4 hours with 4 folds @ 45 minutes.(Add figs slowly during the stretch and folds.  I got all incorporated by the third fold) and a bit of clumping too so I'll work on that.  
5) Divide, preshape, rest
6) shape and retard 8-12 hours   

Pull 30 minutes before baking to take some of the chill off the skin and bake at 500 with steam for 13 minutes then vented for 30-35 more.  A bold bake is best.  

*If not using fresh milled grain an increase in levain may be necessary to keep the times as written (fresh grain ferments quickly)  Half I baked straight from fridge the other half I pulled 30 minutes before loading.  The latter got better spring a bit more volume.  


As for the bounty.  Ooops forgot to get a photo.  That's cause there wasn't much to take a pic of I suppose.  Paid back some previous trades, got some local mushrooms, sage and marjoram starts, ground lamb, fresh eggs, and I'm owed a bottle of vino next week.  Also sold a couple loaves.  

Cheers All



dabrownman's picture

Chico Nut Bread tastes the better of the two.sine we like nut breads better tnan fruit ones?  Doubling he figs had to help the F&F bread. i'm going to look up that Chico bread and give it a whirl at a sane hydration:-)

Made a mutigrain SD for the BBQ today but was using a new basket and forgot to flour the bread and the basket when the basket is new so it stuck really bad - the worst ever.   i actually had to tear it out of the basket and made for an odd loaf for sure:-),  Next time it won't stick though.

Happy baking  Josh . 

golgi70's picture

I'd say they are equal in their own right. The fnf is so good. Do the Chico nut with fresh milled at 100% Hyd and you'll be thrilled. The flour I had was dare I say dry after autolyse @ 100% so I pushed a bit too far. Still came out delish. 

I know the stuck to bowl thing far too well. No fun. But humility makes us stronger. 



isand66's picture

Both breads look great Josh.  Once you get used to the freshed milled flour it's hard to turn back.  I have the Nutramill as well and still trying to figure out how to grind it course enough to sift out some of the bran.

Happy Baking.


golgi70's picture

I figured that might be challenging.  I'll have to find the right guage sifter and maybe I'll be able to make some HE flours.  I've gotten so used to a commercial stone mill it will be fun to tinker with the NutriMill. 


Mebake's picture

Yum yum, Josh! I've never tried figs or fennel in bread before. Yours sure enticed me to do so. The freshly milled whole wheat loaves must be delicious. waiting to see what you'll be up to when the mill arrives!

all the best,


golgi70's picture

That's what I'd like to get more involved with.  I highly suggest the fig n fennel.  Its an amazing combination of flavor.  And with absolutely no added sugar is good enough for dessert.  But it also makes a hell of a sandwich.  Some use anise in lieu of fennel.  I think its the same idea of flavor profile.  You should give it a whirl.  



CeciC's picture

Lovely Loaf Josh!!! 

Your loaf with coated almond is simply fantastic!!! I can even imagine the crunch n smell it brings. 

Happy baking