This fig and walnut bread is a tasty white loaf with a twist. It's easy to make and the fruity and nutty bites make it into a slightly special everyday bread.
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I often think I don't make bread anything like as much as I should. We tend to go up and down in how much we use and we're not quite such big bread eaters that we will get through a loaf in one day, so I kind of have to know we will eat it a couple days in a row.
Plus, there's the planning part of it - you have to think about it a little bit with resting time which is not always my strong point. Added to that, while our house isn't big, it is a bit old and drafty and rising can be tricky.
Now, though, I have adopted a bit of a cheat to get my dough to rise: I use the oven.
Not on properly as that would make the yeast die. Instead, I tend to put the oven on either on the broiler, or on low a short while then turn off. If it lines up that I'm making bread a little after using the oven for something else, all the better. It works wonders - a good rise and usually quicker too.
I have distinct memories of the smell of fresh figs hanging from trees in France when I was a teenager. We went to visit my sister who was living there at the time and went to Carcassonne, a medieval walled town in the South.
As we were walking around, fig trees hung over the path and the smell was wonderfully aromatic. Even better was getting to try some in the market. You could really taste they were fresh.
I now get figs when I can to snack on and add to recipes like my roasted pear and fig scones or prosciutto, goats cheese and balsamic fig croissant.
Sadly, while figs can apparently be harvested up to four times a year, the season is still limited and they don't keep all that long. But while they taste a little different, dried figs are still a great ingredient to work with.
They're a key part of a good old British Christmas pudding, and other dishes, and they work so well in this bread.
How to make fig and walnut bread
This isn't exactly a no-knead bread as such, but it definitely doesn't need a lot of kneading and comes together very easily.
- Mix together the dough ingredients.
- Add the figs and walnuts and ensure they are well distributed.
- Knead briefly then leave it to rise and double in size.
- Knock back the dough and form it into a loaf.
- Give it another short rise before baking in a hot oven until golden brown.
This fig and walnut bread is a tasty twist on a simple loaf, but those small additions really make this bread that bit special, while still being perfect for everyday. Use it in sandwiches, dip it in oil and vinegar, or eat it as a snack as we did. Whichever way, enjoy.
Try these other homemade bread recipes:
- Sourdough rye bread (with a great gentle rye flavor)
- Twisted bread with peppers, spinach and parmesan (great as a festive centerpiece!)
- Japanese milk bread (so soft and fluffy)
- Pan de Mallorca (Puerto Rican sweet rolls - not too sweet but a lovely light texture)
Plus get more lunch recipes in the archives.
Fig and walnut bread
- 1 cup all purpose flour 140g plain flour
- 1 cup bread flour 140g
- 1 tsp instant yeast fast acting yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- ¾ cup water lukewarm, 180ml
- ½ cup dried figs 80g, chopped
- ¼ cup walnuts 35g, chopped
- Mix together the flours, yeast and salt. Add the oil, honey and warm water and mix so that is comes together. Add the figs and walnuts and mix through so that they are well distributed - at this point you will probably need to turn it out on to a lightly floured surface and gently knead it.
- Knead the dough for a couple of minutes to stretch the dough a little and avoid it being too sticky. It won't need as much as some breads, but a little will help. Lightly oil a large bowl then put the dough inside, cover and transfer to a warm, draft-free spot. It shouldn't be hot, but an oven that has almost cooled will be great and will reduce the rising time. Leave to roughly double in size, around 1-2 hours depending on how warm it is.
- Once it has risen, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back (press into the dough with your fingers a few times to get out the excess bubbles).
- Dust a baking sheet with a little cornmeal (or flour, if you don't have). Form the dough into a loaf - I'd suggest an oval - and place on top. Leave to rise a little more for approx 30 minutes. As you need to for your oven, preheat it during this time to 450F/230C.
- As you put the loaf into the oven, spray the sides of the oven with some water to help create steam (this helps to make the loaf crustier on the outside, although it didn't really work for me I admit!). Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the loaf is brown and sounds hollow when you turn it over and tap the bottom.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
See the other fig recipes for today's Foodie Extravaganza:
- Fig/Anjeer Milk Shake by Sneha's Recipe
- Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts by Food Lust People Love
- Sourdough Barley Bread with Figs and Pecans by Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Steamed Figgy Pudding by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Warm Potato Salad with Tea-Steeped Figs by Culinary Adventures with Camilla