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- 400g white unbleached flour (13% protein)
- 100g wheatmeal flour (wholemeal)
- 10g salt flakes
- 5g dried yeast
- 335ml lukewarm water
- 75g walnut halves
- 75g figs, roughly chopped if required
1. Preheat oven to 250°C one hour before baking with a baking stone. Combine flours and salt in a large bowl, mix lightly, add yeast. Add water and mix with one hand until incorporated and it forms a dough, cleaning the bowl with the dough. Place dough on bench.
2. To knead the dough, stretch dough on the bench into a long rectangle, pushing away with one hand and stretching down with another. Roll the rectangle up, turn 90°C and turn to have seam up, repeat 3-6 times until the dough looks smooth and the skin starts to tear.
3. To add ingredients, press dough out into a rectangle, add walnuts and figs and roll and tuck each turn in as you roll the dough into a log. Press out and roll up 3-4 times until ingredients are bursting out. Always turn so seam is up and portrait orientation before pressing out.
4. Bulk prove: leave covered for 1 hour, under a pyrex bowl or similar.
5. To knock back: Roll dough away from you using the heel of your hand 5-6 times to release air from the dough and develop the gluten structure. Do this 3 times at 20 minute intervals.
6. To shape dough, flick and tuck 3 times using the kneading method. This will give the dough a uniform structure inside and remove any large air holes that may be developing.
7. For the final prove: dust a clean chopping board heavily with semolina and place shaped dough on semolina. Cover with a clean large plastic bag and tuck edges under to make a sealed enclosure. Place in a warm, draft-free place for one hour to 1.5 hours to prove. Dough should double in size.
8. Sprinkle baking stone in oven with semolina. Uncover dough and using the tip of a serrated knife or a razor blade make 4 slashes across the loaf about ½ cm deep.
9. Carefully transfer dough to baking stone, close oven door quickly. Throw a few pieces of ice into the bottom of the oven and quickly close the oven door to create steam and develop a chewy crust. Turn oven down to 200°C and bake for 25 minutes. Set oven door ajar with a wooden spoon handle for another five minutes to allow bread to dry out.