The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Last weekend's bake: Fig-Pecan Sourdough & San Francisco-style Sourdough breads

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Last weekend's bake: Fig-Pecan Sourdough & San Francisco-style Sourdough breads

I have made a variety of sourdough breads with nuts and with nuts and dried fruits. For some examples, see:

San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Figs

San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Sour Cherries

Potato-Nut Bread from South Tyrol (Thanks, Salome!)

This weekend's breads (mountain dog's formula seen here: Cherry Pecan Pain au Levain.)

I have liked them all. For the past couple of years, when I bake these I have used just a bit less than 20% (baker's percentages, of course.) fruit and the same percentage nuts. Looking through some of my newer bread books, I noticed a number of sourdough breads with nuts and dried fruits that used 1.5 to 2 times the proportions of them as I had been using. So, I thought I would take one of my known formulas and simple double the nuts and fruit. How could it be bad? 

My base formula was the one for Walnuts and figs. (See the link, above.) But I had just bought some lovely pecans, so I weighed out 200g and toasted them for 6 minutes at 300dF and made Sourdough bread with pecans and dried figs.

The dough looked awful lumpy, even when the loaves were proofed and ready to bake. I dunno about this ....

The bake took about 10 minutes longer than usual for a bâtard this size, presumably because the extra figs evaporated more water, thus keeping the loaes cooler. Maybe. But, the loaves had better bloom than usual for this type of bread, the crumb looked pretty nice, and the taste was wonderful. (It passed the critical "Susan leaves the dinner table to cut herself another slice" test.)

I also baked a couple loaves of My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 4.

A good baking weekend. I hope yours was too.

Happy baking!

David

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

They all look perfectly delicious,  love the bold bake too.  Well done and happy baking.David. 

pmccool's picture
pmccool

Sweet contrasted with sour; yum!

Paul

alfanso's picture
alfanso

You don't publish enough, for my money.  These look great and I've been waiting for a new formula or two to lift.  I've yet to bake with things like fig, etc.  It may take a back burner for a while, but I'll eventually get these into my oven.  As always, beautiful and some of my inspiration in the Land of Loaf.

alan

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

In recent months, I have been baking  the same half dozen breads, and I have already blogged about all of them. Upping the figs and nuts seemed worth sharing.

BTW, for those who haven't followed my TFL blog for years, the dough for the two types of breads I baked yesterday is exactly the same. I mixed two 1 kg batches and added the nuts and figs to one of them.

Brother Glenn gifted me a new bread book, and there are a few formulas in it I will be trying over the next few weeks. I won't say more about it now, but stay tuned.

David

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

I love the crumb, chock full of goodness!

ldpalmer's picture
ldpalmer

Hullo DMSnyder, Your Fig and Pecan looks utterly. And I am looking forward to making it with the double variation. However, that is not the reason I am posting a comment. (I was not sure how else to ask you.) I was seeking your opinion on whether you believe the bread from a wood fired oven is significantly superior to that from an electric (deck?) oven. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Let us know how the fig-pecan sourdough works for you.

I think that, under ideal conditions, one can bake the right kind of breads better in a WFO than in a deck oven. That said, the deck oven (and the home electric oven with a good oven stone and effective steam generation system, for that matter) is more forgiving and flexible. 

How's that for a bunch of qualified statements? I could be a politician! 

David

ldpalmer's picture
ldpalmer

Thank you David. What do you mean by 'better'. Better in terms of flavour? 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

For breads like pain au levain, my very limited experience suggests you get crunchier crust and a moister crumb with WFO bakes. Since the crust makes a disproportionately large contribution to the bread's flavor, I think the flavor is also "better." 

I you are really interested in WFO baking, you should inquire of those with much more experience than mine. I suggest you start a new topic.

David

KathyF's picture
KathyF

Sounds delicious! I love figs. Now I'm going to have to buy some dried figs. Do you think it would be good with a spice like cinnamon or nutmeg or do you think it would be better without?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't know about nutmeg, but cinnamon couldn't be bad. Of course, if you have really good, tasty dried figs, I don't think they need any additional flavorings.

BTW, a spice that compliments figs and nuts surprisingly well is fennel seed in small amounts. You might remember this: Fennel-Hazelnut-Fig Levain. I think you have Hamelman's Bread. I have also made a SD baguette with fennel. I think the formula was Susan Tenny's from wildyeastblog dot com. Let me look .... Okay. It was on wildyeastblog, in September, 2007: Semolina Bread with Fennel, Currents and Pine nuts. Here are mine: Semolina bread with fennel, currants and pine nuts Yummy. Recommended.

Happy baking!

David

KathyF's picture
KathyF

Hmm. Fennel. Sounds interesting. Your Fennel-Hazelnut-Fig Levain looks great! I will check out the recipe in Bread. Thanks!