I had been walking around with this recipe in my head for a few months now, but with the temperatures we’ve had this summer there was no way I was turning on the oven.
So, finally the weather has become more apt for baking and to be honest I have really missed baking.
This bread is great for accompanying cheeses like blue cheese or goat cheese because of the slight sweetness of the figs. It also goes very well with Pate or Serrano ham.
Toasted the next day is delicious too…and it freezes well.
Makes 1 small loaf
1 C. warm milk regular or unsweetened soy , about 100° F
2 tsp. yeast
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 C. whole grain spelt flour
1 1/2 C. plain spelt flour
1 tbsp. cocoa
1 1/2 tsp.salt
1/2 C. walnuts, chopped
2 1/2 oz. dried figs, chopped roughly
Soak the figs in warm water for about 30 minutes.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk together with the honey. Let the yeast sit for 5-10 minutes or until frothy. Add the melted butter.
Put the flours with the cocoa in your mixing bowl, turn on the mixer fitted with the hook attachment and slowly add the milk/yeast/butter mixture. Mix it in and now add the salt.
Knead for 10 minutes, add the nuts and figs at the last minute, just enough to mix them in.
Turn out the dough to a floured surface and knead a few times, pushing the dough away from you with the palms of your hands and pulling it back with your fingers.
Shape into a ball and place in an oil sprayed bowl. Cover with cling film and let rise until double in bulk, about two hours.
Take the dough out of the bowl and place back on your floured work surface, give it just a little knead and shape into three sausages. Form a braid. Place into a greased loaf pan. Cover again with cling film (which has been sprayed with oil) and cover loosely. Let rise again for 30 minutes.
Pre heat the oven to 190 C / 375° F
Remove the cling film and place on a rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Check by tapping on the bread, if it sounds hollow it’s done.
Every oven is different so you really need to check the bread at around 30 minutes to see how it is going.