NEW ZEALAND ALMOND FIG BREAD

 

February 1, 2015

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With Easter early this year, the New Zealand Almond and Fig Bread seemed to be a perfect compliment to spring. I’ve been wanting to make this bread since I bought the book, so now’s my chance. I couldn’t resist the urge to cut the bread right down the middle like the picture, and much to my surprise, the fig and almond left a very soft visual imprint. Granted, I didn’t use black mission figs, but I thought that the amount of dried fig would have been very visible. Oddly enough, the seeds distributed evenly throughout the loaf, and most of the flesh of the fruit sort of melted into the bread itself. Hmm. The crumb was dense and the bread overall didn’t have much flavour. For me, it was more of a texture thing. The seeds from the fig were lightly crunchy and the almonds, well they do what almonds like to do—be nutty. Still Rick and I really enjoyed eating our way through the loaf. 

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Instructions

DOUGH STARTER AND FLOUR MIXTURE

  • Making this is rather routine by now. I left the starter in the fridge overnight.

Dough starter with a flour blanket.
Dough starter with a flour blanket.

HAND METHOD FOR MIXING THE DOUGH

  • I’m really enjoying making bread by hand these days. I worked hard with this dough due to the bread flour and whole wheat flour combined. It made a very dense dough.

Bread dough first coming together.
Bread dough first coming together.

  • What is always interesting to me is the technique of letting the dough rest for 20 minutes changes the texture and suppleness and elasticity, then the kneading makes it sticky again.

The rested bread dough.
The rested bread dough.

  • The dough was too stiff to push it into a rectangle, so I had to pull out the rolling pin. It’s wondrous that the thinly rolled dough accepts all the almonds and figs. At this stage, it seems that the title should be Almonds and Figs with a Little Bread Dough.

Chopped almonds and dried figs.
Chopped almonds and dried figs.Rolled bread dough with chopped almonds and figs.
Rolled bread dough with chopped almonds and figs.Rolled bread dough with chopped almonds and figs.
Rolled bread dough with chopped almonds and figs.Bread dough kneaded with chopped almonds and figs.
Bread dough kneaded with chopped almonds and figs.

  • It rose normally at this stage

Almond and Fig bread dough after having risen to double
Almond and Fig bread dough after having risen to double

  • I made two biz folds and let it rose again.

Bread dough in a biz fold.
Bread dough in a biz fold.

  • The rise was a little less vigorous, but I was resolute not to over proof the dough this time around, as I’ve done on the last two loaves I baked.

SHAPE THE DOUGH AND ENCRUST IT WITH ALMONDS

  • Shaping the dough made the figs and almonds push out from the surface. The dough was just oozing with them. Still, I rolled the dough in the sliced almonds, but they weren’t sticking very well. I had a difficult time getting the almonds to stick in a thick layer. And for the whole fig, I had to cut a hold in the dough to insert the whole fig, and I pushed it in best as possible.

Almond and fig bread with more almonds and figs.
Almond and fig bread with more almonds and figs.Unbaked almond and fig bread.
Unbaked almond and fig bread.

  • I let it rise for the final time while preheating the oven.

BAKING AND GLAZING THE BREAD

  • On baking, the dough pushed out the fig and it looked rather weird to me. In retrospect, I didn’t like the glaze. It was sticky and not nice to handle. I didn’t get a nice crust of almonds like the picture. Darn.

Baked New Zealand Almond and Fig Bread, The Finer Cookie
Baked New Zealand Almond and Fig Bread, The Finer CookieNew Zealand Almond and Fig Bread, The Finer Cookie.
New Zealand Almond and Fig Bread, The Finer Cookie.

TAGS:  BREAD BIBLE       LABELS: Alpha Bakers 

Comments

2 Comments

Svetlana Staloverov   2017-01-08

Lovely post. So beautiful pictures. About density of the dough. Rose recommended at the mixing stage: "If it is still very sticky, knead in a little flour. If it is not at all sticky, spray it with a little water and knead it in. " I following this advice and added water. And as a result my dough turned out just perfect for processing and I have not working hard on the following stages. Of course, it is very difficult to add water at mixing stage if you kneading it buy hand.

Marie   2017-01-08

I love your step-by-step photos! I wish I had the patience to document my recipes like you do :) I agree with you about the bread - we ate it and enjoyed it but it was a bit dense for me. Glad to have tried making it though! Baguettes next?

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NEW ZEALAND ALMOND FIG BREAD

Ingredients
Instructions

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