Hazelnut and Fig Bread with Fennel Seeds and Rosemary

Last fall after baking my way through a few Tartine books I decided it was time to get another bread book.  I had heard great things about Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread for quite some time so I added it to my collection.  The book is more advanced and technique focused than others I have but is still loaded with fantastic recipes.

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I read through many of the technique and bread science sections quickly but it wasn’t until earlier this month that I actually baked from it.  I was looking for ideas for the March edition of #BreadBakers when I came across the formula for this loaf.  After I had baked two loaves I decided that the presence of fennel seeds wasn’t enough in the spirit of the ‘seeds’ theme to use it for #BreadBakers.  But I am very happy to have discovered this loaf that has a lot of great flavors in it. but I was very happy to have made the loaf.

When I first looked over the formula for this loaf it felt like overkill.  The rosemary seemed unnecessary to me and most likely to clash with the other ingredients.  As it turned out the rosemary added a really wonderful depth of flavor to the loaf.  Fennel seeds are one of my favorite things but my wife felt it was a bit too strong, so perhaps you will want to tone down the amount.

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I’m pretty sure this was the first time I’ve ever eaten figs.  I would assume at one point or another I have eaten a Fig Newton but not that I can recall.  I really enjoyed the texture they added especially in contrast to the crisp hazelnuts (which are left whole).  Do make sure to cut the figs up into small enough pieces to make sure they are evenly distributed.  Enjoy!

Hazelnut and Fig Bread with Fennel Seeds and Rosemary (Makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients

Ingredient Amount Percentage
Whole Wheat Flour 3 5/8 C (16.3 oz) 50%
Bread Flour 3 5/8 C (16.3 oz) 50%
Water 2 ¼ C 68%
Salt 1 T (.6 oz) 2%
Instant Yeast 1 ½ tsp (.16 oz) 1.5%
Fennel Seeds 2 T (.5 oz) 1.5%
Rosemary 2 T (.2 oz) .5%
Roasted Hazelnuts 1 C (4.8 oz) 15%
Dried Figs, chopped 1 C (4.8 oz) 15%

Directions

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer except the hazelnuts and figs.  Mix on low speed for three minutes and then turn to medium speed for 3-4 additional minutes.  Add in hazelnuts and figs and mix on low speed until just incorporated.

Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Bulk ferment for 2 hours, folding after one hour.

Divide the risen dough into two pieces and shape into rounds.  Leave on a lightly floured surface seam up and cover with plastic wrap.  After 15 minutes place loaves in floured baskets (bannetons) and cover.  Let rise for another 90 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 F and place a dutch oven with cover in.  Bake with cover on for 20 minutes, then lower temperature to 435 F.  Remove cover and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the loaves are a deep golden brown.  Let cool for 2 hours before slicing.

Recipe courtesy of Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman.

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