Cracked Black Pepper and Figgy Bread

This recipe is adapted from a recipe on the BBC Good Food website.

  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 200g strong wholemeal bread flour
  • 10g fast acting yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cracked black peppercorns (grind very coarsely, or smash under some tin foil on  a chopping board)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g dried figs, roughly chopped

Combine the flours, salt, pepper and yeast in a large bowl.  Add the olive oil and 420ml lukewarm water and stir to combine.  Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead until it comes together into a dough (if you’re not sure how to judge this, give it 10 minutes of kneading).  If it seems very wet you can add a little more flour.

Put the dough back into the bowl and leave it to rest in a warm place until it has doubled in size (roughly an hour).  You can cover it with clingfilm if you like, this will speed up the process, but I find I get a better crust if I leave it uncovered.

Preheat your oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.  When is is ready knock the air out of it then take it out of the bowl and flatten it out into a rectangle.  Place 2 thirds of the figs all over the top then fold the dough over like a book and place the rest of the figs on top of that, pressing them in.  Now fold and knead the dough again (don’t overdo it) a few times to really incorporate the figs and then shape the dough into a long oval.  Place it onto a floured baking tray, slash the top with a knife (deep slashes look really good!)  Leave the loaf to prove in a warm place for about 25 minutes, then put it into the hot oven and cook it for 45-50 minutes.  You can test it by tapping the bottom – you want to hear a hollow sound.

This bread is great with butter, oil and especially CHEESE!  Enjoy xx

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