I am forever experimenting with ingredients and adapting the recipes I use and trust the most. This week, I adapted my favorite quick bread recipe by substituting in small amounts of rye and chestnut flour, and by adding dried figs. The result was a fruity, nutty, aromatic masterpiece!
Fruit & Nut Day Bread Recipe (adapted from my Magic Quick Bread Recipe) (makes one loaf, takes ~ 2 1/2 hours)
- 1/2 Tbs active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tsp sugar or honey
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 Tbs rye flour
- 2 Tbs chestnut flour
- 1 tsp salt
- handful of dried figs (5-8 figs), chopped and soaked
Chop up the dried figs and soak them in 1 cup warm water. let sit for 5-10 min. Separate out the liquid and set the figs aside.
In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm fig water. Let sit for 5 min.
In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and combine with a fork. As the dough comes together, add in the figs.
I like to wet my hands in warm water (so they don’t stick to the dough blob) and stretch/ squeeze/ fold the dough around on itself until it is a homogenous sticky smooth blob. Wet your hands as needed to keep them from sticking. This dough can take in the extra water just fine.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes. Perform a series of stretch and folds (stretching the edges of the dough and folding each one back on itself), and then cover and let sit for another 15 min.
After you have performed three sets of stretch and folds in 15 min increments, let the dough sit covered for an hour (more is fine, encouraged even).
Transfer dough to a floured surface and shape into a loaf. If you are not familiar with bread shaping, there are many video tutorials on youtube (it involves more stretch and folds!). You can also simply transfer the dough into a loaf pan (which is what I always used to do before I learned about shaping the dough to build structure in the loaf).
Let the dough proof while heating oven to 500º (I use a dutch oven which I let come to temp in the regular oven). When you can poke the dough and leave an indent that does not spring back quickly, it is ready for baking.
Score the loaf with a pretty design if you want to, and then place it in the oven, covered. If you are using a regular loaf pan, a baking sheet works great as a cover.
Decrease the baking temp to 450º and bake for 25-30min.
Remove the lid and bake for 10-15 more min or until golden.
Remove loaf from oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and take in the glorious aroma as your bread cools.
A slice of this fruity nutty loaf goes great with goat cheese spread on top!