Fig bread

This fruit-studded loaf from Michael Caines makes the perfect accompaniment to a wedge of farmhouse cheese for a special cheese board or light lunch
By Michael Caines
Fig bread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus about 2 hours resting time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 300 g rye flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200 g strong white bread flour
  • 2 x 7 g sachets easy bake yeast
  • about 375 ml lukewarm water
  • 300 g candied figs, chopped
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • creamy semi-hard farmhouse cheese, to serve (Michael recommends Suffolk Gold)

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

2. Tip both the flours, yeast 1 tsp salt into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Pour in enough water to form a soft but not sticky dough and mix on setting number 1 for 5 minutes, then setting number 2 for a further 12 minutes. (Alternatively you can mix the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl then knead vigorously for 15-20 minutes, until smooth and springy.)

3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes.

4. Once the dough has rested, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a rough rectangle.

5. Scatter the figs in lines about 2cm apart along the dough, then roll up the dough like a Swiss roll. Transfer to a baking tray, cover with a flour-dusted cloth and set aside to prove for 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size, then brush with olive oil. Leave to prove, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes.

6. Brush the bread with a little olive oil, then bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and cooked through (it should sound hollow when tapped underneath). Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

7. Serve slices of the bread with cheese.

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