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


Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

I also wanted to bake this the only problem is dont have walnuts so was waiting to buy some and then try it. this looks lovely.

Unknown said...

A foodie group in Bangalore which I am a part of is all ga ga over this recipe and am making mine today!! Wasn't she awesome.. I don't mind being Phillpo's assistant either. He makes awesome breads!

Archana said...

Oh yes Gauri, I am part of that group, yeah ! I still feel I'm very much a part of Bangalore !

Radhika said...

I too have the browning problem as mine is also a convection oven. This one has turned out too good I would say. Delicious.

Tickling Palates

Anu said...

Nice one..should try this once..

kankana said...

Love fig and I am sure it works amazing with walnut! I am also hooked with MasterChef US series :)

Heather S-G said...

What a lovely loaf - I can just imagine the combo of fig and walnut wrapped in bread, would love this for toast in the morning! I hope you'll share it with BYOB - Bake Your Own Bread this month (!

Xff said...

Thank you for sharing this with BYOB. The richness of fig with a bit of walnut sounds so right. I rarely cook with walnuts and love this pairing.

Kavi said...

1st time here.. I love your blo! clean presentations!!

I am itching to try this one out. I saw Philipa too & already picked up a few of her tips!! I just wasn't sure about the ice cubes & let the steam out part in my convection oven.. And the crust of her bread was so awesome! It never comes in my oven too.. But yours' looks lovely!

Mich - Piece of Cake said...

Hi, I'm dropping by via BYOB. This looks absolutely delicious. Walnut and figs are a great combo.

Parita said...

OMG you made this bread!! I too saw it and was mesmerized with the perfect crust! yours look simply awesome! I love MA and watching eevryday!


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