This is a nice bread to serve and give around the holidays—it’s not overly sweet so you can eat it with cheese as well as with butter and jam. Adapted from the non-sourdough recipe in Hamelman’s Bread. Makes two large loaves, or three 1 ½ lb loaves, or some combination of loaves and rolls.
680 g water
125 g firm levain*
500 g whole wheat flour
500 g all-purpose flour
1 T salt
2 T fennel seeds
2 T dried rosemary or 4 T fresh rosemary, chopped
150 g hazelnuts, roasted and skinned then chopped**
150 g dried figs, chopped
Method: Mix levain with lukewarm water; add flours, rosemary and fennel and stir to mix; autolyse 30-60 minutes. Add salt and begin to stretch-and-fold at 30 minute intervals until the dough starts to feel firm and cohesive with good gluten development; add chopped figs and hazelnuts**. Do two more stretch-and-folds to evenly mix in nuts and fruit, then bulk ferment 2-3 hours at 76 degrees. Shape into 2 loaves and transfer to bannetons. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof 2-3 hours or more until dough has risen somewhat and is a little puffy to the touch.
Bake in cast iron dutch ovens which have been preheated in the oven to 450 degrees. After 20 minutes, remove tops and lower heat to 435 degrees. Bake another 20 minutes or until the loaves are nicely browned but not burned. (For rolls, bake on a cookie sheet; they’ll be done in about 30 minutes total.)
* I used the whole wheat/APF starter from my kettle bread, at 60% hydration.
** To toast the hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350 degrees then roast on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes, till they start to color and give off a nice aroma. Cool then rub the hazelnuts between your hands to remove most of the husk (you won’t get all of it). Chop along with the figs before mixing with bread.