15 Apr 2009

Date and fig bread

Being an enthousiastic eater of fresh fruits doesn't mean I like all the fruits. Especially the dried ones are not my favourite. As a supplement in an aromatic fruitbread is OK, but I don't like eating dried apricots or figs just out of hand.

So, why on earth baking a bread filled with figs and dates when I don't even like them?

There's more than one explanation for my odd choise;

- at first: I just happen to be married with a real lover of dried exotic fruits and I want to surprise him after he's been away for a few days;
- and second: this bread looked stunning on the picture of the book;
- and third: maybe, just maybe I'll try it with some nice dutch cheese and even like it myself!

The original recipe of Paul Hollywood (100 Great Breads) described 75 % whole wheat flour with 25% bread flour. Looking at the bakers' percentages I didn't trust the amount of water as was necessary according to the original recipe. Just 300 ml. water for 500 gr. fluor, of which 75 % consisted of whole wheat flour, looked not enough to me. These were not the only adjustments I made; I've used less yeast and salt as in the original recipe.

This dough needed a very short rising time and I divided it in two equal pieces to make one round loaf without a form and one loaf with the help of a banneton. Although the risingtime was still very short, the dough did rise too much. When slashing the round loaf and turning the banneton onto the bakingsheet, both the loafs collapsed a little bit.

The result: maybe not the prettiest ones but very, very tasty and still airy loafs. Even I liked them!

Date and fig bread (Paul Hollywood: 100 Great Breads)
250 gr. bread flour
250 gr. whole wheat flour
20 gr. yeast
1 tbsp. treacle
325 ml. water; lukewarm
10 gr. salt
50 gr. butter; soft
75 gr. dried figs; chopped
75 gr. dried dates; chopped

Combine the flours, yeast, treacle and water in a big bowl. Add the water and mix the ingredients until you get a lumpy dough without dry parts. Give it 20 minutes time for the autolyse.

Add the salt, soft butter and dried fruits. Knead it all in 5 minutes to a dough that is still a bit sticky. Put the dough in a oiled bowl, cover it and leave it to rise for an hour. Divide the dough into two pieces and form them as you like. Place them on a baking sheet or in a banneton and leave it again (covered) til it's almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220 dgr. F. (425 dgr. F.). Slash the loafs and and bake them in 30 minutes.


Lien said...

Yes that picture in the book is lovely isn't it. I love dried fruits so for me this is a great recipe. Glad you liked it too. Great breads. It's funny how some books go way over the top with the amount of liquids, while others use too little. GOod thing we have our brains with us!

MC said...

Very nice bread! From what I learned at baking school, to avoid the collapsing problem with whole wheat, it is a good idea to set the loaf to proof into whatever it will bake in (you could try a Dutch oven) and score them before the proofing). I have done it myself and it works. I'd be interested to know how it works for you if you try it.

Marjoke said...

Thanks for the advice. Next time I'll score the loaf before the proofing and let you know. This means I'll try it also with the whole wheat breads I like to bake.