Fig, Orange and Feta Cheese Bread

Simon Rimmer celebrates bread-making with plenty of Mediterranean flavours and fresh and inviting aromas
By Merrilees Parker
Fig, Orange and Feta Cheese Bread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 2 x 700g loaves
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus rising
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 15 g dried yeast
  • 600 ml warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 kg strong bread flour
  • 30 g salt
  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 350 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • ground black pepper
  • 6 figs, chopped
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • unsalted Normandy butter, to serve

Method

1. Dissolve the yeast in about 100ml of the measured warm water and add the sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes in a warm place.

2. Sieve the flour onto a work surface, and make a well in the centre. Pour in the water along with the frothy, yeast mixture. Gradually bring the flour into the liquid and combine everything until the mixture becomes a soft dough.

3. Continue kneading the dough for 7-8 minutes, until it loses its stickiness and becomes quite elastic.

4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and leave until doubled in size - this should take at least 2 hours, depending on how warm the room is.

5. Turn the risen dough back onto the kitchen counter and lightly knead for a minute or two. Add the salt, oil, cheese, pepper, figs and orange zest to the dough. Continue kneading until everything is well-combined. Divide into 2 equal-sized pieces and shape into rounds loaves.

6. Place each round on a floured baking tray and cover with a damp cloth. Leave the bread dough to rise at room temperature for about 40-60 minutes - until well-risen and puffy in appearance. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4

7. Glaze with egg wash and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden and firm. Leave to cool before serving with unsalted Normandy butter.

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