The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with Fig Bread

Seamuffin's picture
Seamuffin

Help with Fig Bread

Hi all,

Maybe half a year ago, I went to the Boston resturant Sel de la Terre and discovered something wonderful in the bread basket: fig bread. This particular bread was quite dense, which is not usually the way I like my bread, but the bits of dried fig were really spectacular. I've been browsing for a good recipe ever since, but never found something terribly satisfactory. The only ones I can find seem to be convinced that fennel will make the figs taste better, and to be honest there are few flavors which I dislike more than fennel. Does anyone know a good recipe for fig bread, or one that would accept figs well as a substitution?

Thanks very much.

Jamila's picture
Jamila

By Rose Levy Beranbaum is pretty good!

I found a lovely picture of it, she has it in her Bread Bible Book and if you are interested I would be more than happy to write it down for you.


New Zealand Almond and Fig Bread

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I would love to have the recipe. We have a fig tree which is loaded this year. I am always looking for ways to make use of the figs.

Seamuffin's picture
Seamuffin

Oh, wow. That looks really beautiful! The recipe would be much appreciated.

spsq's picture
spsq

I'm not sure this is all that helpful..... but it was delicious!

 I was making a batch of regular honey whole wheat loaves, about 3.  After the second knead, I kneaded about 3/4 c chopped dates and 3/4 c chopped toasted hazelnuts into one of the loaves.  It was so tasty - and easy!

Jamila's picture
Jamila

Sponge                                                         Topping: 1 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup bread flour                                        Glaze: 3 tbs apricot jelly 2 tbs water

1/2 ts instant yeast

3/4 ts sugar

3/4 cup water at room temp

 

Whisk all ingreadients together until very smooth, about two minutes. Set aside and make the flour mixture.

 

Flour Mixture

3/4 cup plus 2 tbs for kneading bread flour 

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 ts instant yeast

2 ts oil

1 1/4 ts salt

1 cup unblanched slivered or whole almonds coarsely chopped

 1/2 cup dried figs stems removed cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieced plus 1 whole fig for decor

 

Wisk together bread flour, whole wheat flour, and yeast. Sprinkle this on top of the sponge and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Allow it to ferment for 1 to 4 hours at room temp.

 

Add th oil and mix with dough hook on low speed #2 with KA until the flour is moistened enough to form a rough dough. Cover the bowl and rest 20 minutes.

 

Sprinkle on the salt and knead th dough on med. speed #4 KA for 7 minutes. Should be smooth and shiny and cling slightly to your fingers. If it still very sticky knead in a little flour. If it is not sticky at all spray in a little water and knead it in. It will weigh about 17 oz. Allow the dough to rest 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and roll into a rectangle about 9 inches by 14 inches. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds and figs. Roll up the dough and knead it for a few minutes to incorporate the almonds and figs evenly. Shape it into a ball.

 

Set th dough into 4 qt dough rising container or bowl, lightly greased with cooking spray or oil. Press down th dough and lightly spray or oil the top. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape mark the side of the container at approximately where the double height should be. Allow the dough to rise until doubled about 1 1/2 hours.

 

Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper scrape out the dough onto a floured counter and press down on it gently to form a rectangle. Fold the dough into a tight package or give it 2 business letter turns, and set it back in the container. Oil the surface again cover and mark again. It will be bigger this time because of all of the air. Allow it to rise again until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. 

 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press down on it gently to flatten it slightly. Round the dough into a 4 1/2 inch ball and lightly spray or brush the surface with water. Scatter the almonds on the counter. Roll the ball of dough in the almonds to cover it completely, pressing the nuts into the dough. Firmly push the whole fig, end down, into the center so that it is submerged as deeply as possible into the dough. The loaf will measure 5 incheds by 2 1/2 inches high.

Preheat oven 425 or 450 if using La Cloche. Place the oven shelf on the lowest level and place an oven stone or baking sheet on before preheating. If using La Cloche, preheat th dome along with the oven.

Place it on a La Cloche base or heavy cookie sheet. Cover it with a large container or cover loosely with an oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let it double about 1 1/4 hour. A finger depression will slowly fill in. Press any remaining almonds into empty spaces created by the dough's expansion.


If using La Cloche carefully place the hot dome onto the base and quickley but gently set it on th ehot stone or hot baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, lower the temp to 400 and continue baking for 30 - 35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. An instant read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 190 F.

If using a Baking Sheet, quickly but gently place set the baking sheet on the hot stone or hot baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, lower the temp to 375 and continue baking for 35 - 40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Also, a thermometer insterted into the middle will read about 190 F.

If the nuts begin to brown tent the loaf loosely with aluminum foil. Halfway through the baking turn the pan around for even baking.

 

Bring the apricot jelly and water to a boil in a small saucepan and simmer for 1 - 2  minutes stirring constantly. With a spoon press the preserves through a strainer to make a smooth glaze. When t bread is done, remove it from the ovben and brush it iwth the hot apricot glaze. Return it to the oven for 1 minute to set the glaze.

 

Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

I hope you enjoy her recipe. Sorry for any typos, I have my babies running around and my oldest one asking questions constantly! :-) Take care! 

 

 

 

Seamuffin's picture
Seamuffin

Very much appreciated. I can't wait to try it!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

is one of my favorite blog sites..somehow I missed this recipe. Thanks so much for taking the time to type it all out for us! Now I just have to wait for the crop to ripen, probably about a month and then I will post my results.

Jamila's picture
Jamila

to have a fig tree. My father grew up with several in their yard, Louisianian folks. I never thought to do that here, I wonder if that is at all possible. I love fresh figs!

 

Good luck and please post your bread results!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Jam..where are you located ? I live in Oregon..the climates in Louisiana and Oregon are so different. I grew up in New England and never saw a fig tree there. Sounds like figs might do well as long as not in extremely cold climates..does anyone know?

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I can see a fig tree in my neighbors backyard right here in the Portland area. They got quite a crop last year.

thomasb's picture
thomasb

They grow here. I am across the Columbia in Camas WA and our tree began producing two years after it was transplanted. Depening on the late summer/early fall weather (warm days) you can get two crops a year with some types of figs.

As a note, to ease picking, it is better to prune the tree to a bush rather than to let it grow to a tree as they can get 20 feet high or higher.

thomasb

manuela's picture
manuela

I know that there is a type of fig tree called "Tennessee Mountain Fig" that is hardy to zones 6-11.

I live in New England and I was considering trying to grow them. There is a website of the nursery that ships them all over the US. Hope this is useful.

ryaninoz's picture
ryaninoz

Seamuffin,

 I got the recipe from the Restaurant Sel de la Terre by e-mailing them. It' a commercial quantity, so I am breaking it down to test for home use. Let me know and I'll send you the recipe or post it here if others want it a well.

Ryan Propst

Sydney, Australia

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

the fig bread formula from Sel de la Terre, Thanks

ryaninoz's picture
ryaninoz

So I am in a bit of a delimea for the first time. Until I break down the recipe and make a home version, and I know that recipes can't be copyrighted but what are the ethics of posting a recipe you get from a chef/pastry chef at a restaurant. They did not say I could not share it as is but then again my partner thinks it's not the right thing to do.  Until I break down the recipe for home use and I think on what's the right answer, if you want the original recipe as is, commerical quantities, you can e-mail me at r_propst@hotmail.com and I'll be happy to send you the original as provided to me. What are the thoughts around this issue.

 I've already converted the recipe from U.S. equivalents to metrics and will break it down this weekend and then post a metric version. I am going to test it either Saturday or Sunday and will try and post photo's this time, unlike my brioche. 

Ryan Propst

Sydney, Australia

Seamuffin's picture
Seamuffin

Dear Ryan,

Thank you so much for your help. I was wondering if, by any chance, you'd had the chance to try out the fig bread. I sent you an email in the hope that I might be able to get the recipe, but perhaps I used the wrong address? I tried copying directly from your message.

Again, any help or suggestions are very much appreciated.

 

~Seamuffin

ryaninoz's picture
ryaninoz

 Hey mate,

 Apologise been swamped at work and my e-mail got screwed up. I have completed the conversion and am happy to forward to you. I've lost many mails due to the email snafu, can you send me another one and I'll send out the recipe coversion I've done. Please do check over it and confirm you agree with the calcuations.

Thanks!

Ryan Propst

Sydney, Australia

ryaninoz's picture
ryaninoz

 

 

 

 Recipe
  
For Sponge:Grams
  
Bread flour325
  
Water (warm)590
  
Fresh yeast (compressed cake)14.175
  
REST 2 HR. @ ROOM TEMP  
  
For Dough: 
  
SPONGE ABOVE Plus 
  
Bread flour1248.5
  
Honey425.625
  
Cornmeal113.5
  
Anise seed, whole1.25
  
Fine sea salt21
  
Dried fig puree454
  
Dried figs, chopped227
  
Water472
  
Fresh yeast (compressed cake)28.35

 Preheat oven to 450.
Mix sponge, rest 2 hours to a Maximum of 12.  Add water, yeast, and honey, followed by dry ingredients.  Add ½ of fig puree.  Mix on low speed until a loose dough forms.  Add rest of fig puree and dried figs.  Mix on medium speed approximately 3 minutes or until a uniform dough has formed.  It should stretch without feeling tough or immediately tearing.  Ferment the dough in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.  Divide into appropriate sized amounts and shape into loaves.  Proof loaves on a board or basket covered with a slightly damp towel or plastic (or place seam side down into an earthenware mold to bake).  Turn loaves out onto a wooden peel dusted with flour or directly onto a hearth stone, slash with a serrated knife or razor and mist with water.  Turn oven down to 350 and bake for 20 minutes or until a thermometer reads 180 degrees.  Cool at room temperature before slicing.

Ryan Propst

Sydney, Australia

ryaninoz's picture
ryaninoz

 Question on Hydration...When looking at Hydration I understand it's the liquid to the flour ratio but with other items....i.e. cornmeal/polenta, do you include this as part of the flour does hydration calucations refer ONLY to liquid and flour?

I'll post of photos of the Fig bread after it has cooled and I can take photo and sort how to upload them here. I knew that the recipe above...that 20 min would not be enough for this bread. I made it in several size tins and it took anywhere from 35 for the smaller tins to 45 for the larger.

Ryan Propst

Sydney, Australia

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi Ryan,

I've seen it done both ways. Probably more often I see recipes with just the main flour as 100% and any specialty flours as a ratio to the main flour, but I think it's often more convenient to understand a recipe's dough consistency, hydration, and salt content if you use total flours as 100%.

Bill