Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Walnut and Fig Loaf
There's an eternal fight for the TV remote at home - I'm not a part of it though, I gave up long ago. TH and my son are the warriors here and I just sit thru the endless news channels or the cartoon ones, depending on who won !
Ever since Masterchef Australia started screening here, we have peaceful TV viewing time. The little fellow is hooked on to it and has his favourites in each series, TH loves anything to do with food and I am more than happy to sit and watch something of my interest.
When I saw Phillippa Grogan teach this walnut and fig loaf at the Masterclass, I was really tempted to try it. I don't have a regular oven, I just use the convection mode of my microwave to bake, and its been okay so far, but I never get that lovely browning when I bake bread. I decided to give this a shot anyway. I had a lot of figs (dried) and walnuts at home, so this was my afternoon experiment yesterday.
The browning was definitely not enough, but I did land up with a chewy crust. I used the tip of placing ice cubes in a try below. I placed a small ovensafe bowl with ice cubes under the baking rack.
I pretty much followed the recipe, (though that's asking for too much with me, I seem to have a problem sticking to measurements and following recipes to the exact detail) but I goofed up in a couple of places, though it wasn't disastrous
I landed up using extra wheat flour, since the dough got a bit too sticky (I'm guessing the water was little too much) and I needed the flour to get it into some shape. The bread was a slightly dense, or maybe I expected it to be lighter, but the figs in it tasted really nice.
The other mistake I made was that I put it in a plate with semolina during the first proofing (I just didn't read the recipe right) and so when I had to punch it back the next couple of times, the semolina got added into the dough. It wasn't such a bad idea after all, the coarse grains added a bit to the texture of the crust, but you may not want to do that.
I used APF / maida for the white unbleached flour in the recipe. The pre-heating is way faster in a microwave, so the one-hour of pre-heating did not happen, neither could I leave the door partially open in the last five mins
Other than that, it turned out to be a nice loaf. We had it for breakfast again this morning, some slices with cheese, some with honey and butter and another with orange marmalade. Tasted lovely. Thank you Phillippa.
Head over to the recipe here.
This is being Yeastspotted and sent to Let's Cook #17 - Breads at Ticking Palates