Fig, thyme and honey bread

Fig, thyme and honey bread

By
From
How to Cook Bread
Makes
1 small loaf
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

This is the perfect bread to serve with an array of salads for a buffet lunch; the drizzled honey gives it a lovely shine. It works really well served with blue and goat's cheeses too. You will need a 450g loaf tin.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
30g butter
1 teaspoon soft light brown sugar
150ml milk
1 tablespoon tepid water
15g fresh yeast
1 small egg
125g wholemeal flour
125g strong plain white flour, plus extra to dust
1 teaspoon salt
oil, to grease
200g dried figs
small handful thyme sprigs
runny honey, to drizzle

Method

  1. Use a little of the butter to grease the loaf tin, then put the remainder in a small pan with the sugar and milk. Over a medium high heat, stir to melt the sugar and butter into the milk, bring to scalding point, then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool to tepid.
  2. Mix the tepid water with the yeast in a bowl to create a loose paste. Beat the egg, then add it to the yeast along with two thirds of the milk mixture.
  3. Sift the flours and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture, making sure all of the yeast is scraped out of the bowl. Mix first with a cutlery knife and then with your fingers, adding enough of the remaining milk mixture to make a soft but not sticky dough.
  4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, using as little extra flour on the work surface to stop the dough sticking as possible.
  5. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled cling film or a damp tea towel and transfer to a warm place for about 1 hour to rise and double in size.
  6. Slice the dried figs and set aside. Roughly chop enough thyme leaves to give you 1 tbsp.
  7. Once the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl and knead in the sliced figs and chopped thyme until well distributed. Lightly oil the loaf tin.
  8. Shape the dough and place it smooth side uppermost, in the prepared loaf tin. Cover it with lightly oiled cling film and leave the loaf to prove until it is 1½ times its original size. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C.
  9. Sift a little extra flour over the loaf and bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown, feels light for its size and sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped. Drizzle with a little honey and allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack.
Tags:
bread
Leiths
baking
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