Week 49: Fig & Walnut Whole Wheat (25%)

A healthier version of Week 3: Boule, with an overnight fermentation for added flavor. I like making two small rounds because it’s easier to slice individual pieces, and it’s handy to have one in the freezer, or an extra to give away. This bread is really good toasted, then topped with goat cheese and a drizzle of honey.

This is one of those no-knead doughs, that is baked in a dutch-oven or similar heavy duty/pryrex pot with a lid.

Step 1 (day one): Prepare biga and ferment overnight

  • 300 g bread flour
  • 100 g whole-wheat flour
  • 8 g salt
  • 3 g yeast
  1. Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl, and whisk to combine.
  • 300 grams water
  • 90 g fig jam (about 1/4 cup)
  • 50 g dried fig pieces (just under 1/2 a cup) optional
  • 100 g chopped walnuts (about 1 cup) much tastier if they are roasted, but it’s not necessary
  1. Add water, and mix with a wooden spoon handle so everything is well combined.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on counter 12-18 hours

Step 2 (next day): Shape and proof

  1. Flour the countertop generously.
  2. Gently dump the dough out in one piece, scraping sides with a dough scrapper or rubber spatula.
    • Separate into two pieces, if you want.
  3. Do the stretch and fold method. Video below (from Weekend Bakery) is an exaggerated version done with a really stretchy dough, but it’s a good view of the method.
    • With lightly floured fingertips, grab a portion of the dough and stretch it out and up.
    • Fold the dough over toward the center of the bowl.
    • Repeat on the opposite edge, then the top and bottom
  1. With floured hands, and your scraper, shape them into a nice round
  2. Line bowl or colander with a floured tea towel (see Tips page, Proofing section)
  3. Gently place dough in bowl, seam side down
  4. Cover with plastic wrap or plastic bag.
  5. Preheat oven to 500, with your covered pot inside.
  6. Rise 1-2 hours, until doubled, finger poke should hold the indentation, if it springs back, try for another 15 minutes

Step 3: Bake and cool

  1. Remove plastic covering, and place a piece of parchment over the top, and a cutting board over that.
  2. Flip, then remove bowl and carefully peel off cloth.
  3. With potholders, remove pot from oven, remove tops, and then lift the dough with the parchment paper and gently place into the pots and put lid back on.
  4. Put in oven, turn heat down to 475, and bake 30 minutes (20 minutes for two).
  5. With oven mitts, remove lid, bake 15-30, for one, (5 – 10) until bread is a nice, dark golden brown, and has reached 200-210 degrees.
  6. Turn off oven, remove loaves from pots, put them back in the oven and leave door ajar to cool. This helps to ensure the crusts stays crispy (see Tips page for why).

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