Fig and caraway bread

The fig and caraway in this bread makes a tasty flavour combination for your Christmas day supper, it's good to think about these things nice and early.

For the perfect dunk-able loaf, read on...

Stews, soups and casseroles are the epitome of autumn food - but what are they without a thick slice of bread, covered in salted butter, to mop up your bowl at the end? That's where this amazing loaf comes in. Using the flavours of fig and caraway, this bread is easy to bake, smells amazing, and tastes fab - no matter what you eat it with.

Ingredients

  • 200 g strong white flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 200 g whole wheat bread flour
  • 7 g sachet fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbsp malt
  • 30 g butter (melted)
  • 100 ml warm milk
  • 125 ml warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 170 g dried figs (roughly chopped)

Instructions

1
Combine the flours, yeast, sugar and seeds in a large bowl. In a separate bowl stir together the malt, butter, milk and water. Stir the salt into the flour mixture then pour in most of the liquid.
2
Combine everything together using your hands to form a soft dough. If it’s too dry add a little more of the remaining liquid. Lightly dust your work surface with flour, turn out the dough and knead for about 10 mins until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
3
Return the dough to the bowl and cover with some oiled cling film. Set aside to rise in a warm place for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
4
When risen, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the figs so they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Shape the dough into a round and place on a lightly floured baking sheet.
5
Use a sharp knife to cut a crisscross pattern in the top of the dough then dust with flour.
6
Leave to rise for 30mins, towards the end of this time preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. When the dough has risen bake for 40-45mins. To test the bread, tap the base and you should hear a hollow sound when it’s cooked.

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