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REC: Fig Rye Bread. I was all cooked out by New Year's Day >

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Joined: Dec 14, 2005


Posted to Thread #314 at 5:02 pm on Jan 2, 2006

but fortunately I had bread in the freezer to bring to a potluck. This one was a big hit. It's especially good with cheese. (This is the original recipe but I'll add my shortcut at the end):

Fig Rye Bread

from Bon Appetit, May '95

2 cups warm water
1 pk. dry yeast
1/2 tsp. sugar

1 Tbs. vegetable oil [I use olive]
1 Tbs. salt
3 2/3 cups (about) all purpose flour
2 cups whole grain rye flour

2-1/2 (12 oz.) cups dried black Mission figs or Calimyrna figs [I use both]

Combine water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 8 minutes.

Add oil and salt to yeast mixture. Gradually stir in 3-1/3 cups white flour and 2 cups rye flour. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more white flour if sticky, about 10 minutes.

Place dough in larged oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Dust 2 large baking sheets with all purpose flour. Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Press out to a 1" thick rectangle. Sprinkle on the figs and roll up jelly roll style. Knead to distribute figs evenly. Divide dough in half and roll each piece into a 16-inch long loaf. Transfer to prepared sheets. Cover with towel. Let rise in warm area until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400*F. Bake loaves until golden and bottoms sound hollow when tapped, using spray bottle to spray oven with water every 10 minutes, about 45 minutes. Cool completely on racks. This bread freezes well.

NOTE: Here is Julia Child's foolproof food processor bread dough method: Prepare yeast mixture in a measuring cup. Put all dry ingredients in processor [I use 3 cups white and 2 rye flour], using the plastic dough blade if you have it. Turn on machine and pour in the liquid, then the oil. Let run until dough forms a rapidly rotating ball, adding a little more water if dough doesn't come together (or a little more flour if too sticky to form a ball). Stop the machine and let dough rest 5 minutes. (Important!) Turn on the machine again and let dough ball rotate 30 times. Stop the machine, turn dough out outo a floured board and let rest 2 more minutes. Knead 50 strokes by hand.

I also use Julia's trick of heating the oven with a cast iron skillet on the bottom, then throwing 1/2 cup water into the skillet to create the steam.

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