This gorgeous fig and raisin bread, takes about 3 hours to rise before it's shaped, proofed and baked for a quick 20 minutes. It makes a lovely food gift at Christmas time.
2 people made this
3/4 tablespoon (about 9 g) dried active yeast
350ml warm water
1 tablespoon caster sugar, or more as needed (optional)
400g strong white bread flour
3/4 tablespoon salt
5 large dried figs, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon medium cornmeal or polenta for dusting, or as needed
Method Prep:25min › Cook:20min › Extra time:4hr15min › Ready in:5hr
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar to activate yeast. Add bread flour; sprinkle salt on top. Add raisins and chopped figs; mix well.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes. Place in a large glass bowl and cover with cling film. Let rise for 3 to 4 hours.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pick up the side of the dough that's farthest from you and fold it inward, about 3/4 of the way across. Fold the last quarter of the dough all the way back over the far side, creating a 'batard' (torpedo shape). Press down on the seam with the side of your palm to seal it.
Preheat the oven to 240 C / Gas 9. Sprinkle some cornmeal over the dough and cover loosely; let proof for 45 minutes. Sprinkle more cornmeal onto a baking tray; flip dough onto the tray so the seam side faces up. Use a serrated knife to cut a few slashes into the top of the dough.
Bake in the preheated oven until top is golden brown and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 20 minutes. Let the loaf cool for at least 30 minutes, as it will continue to cook when it comes out of the oven.