There were figs on the tree when we got back after a few days away, but they were very ripe and squishy. So I simmered them in red wine, with a few cinammon sticks and some cloves, for about an hour, then mixed them with some stiff sourdough starter, some very strong white flour and some organic Enkir (the oldest cereal in the world, or so it is marketed, with a nutty flavour – a kind of adult spelt). No water, fats or sugars were added. The dough was left to prove overnight.
The next day, I added some toasted pine nuts and shaped the loaf. The figs had dissolved into the dough, leaving behind a wonderful sweet and spicy aroma and a nice burgundy hue.
I’ve baked this loaf before with dried figs, and they give an odd, crunchy texture from the seeds; using fresh figs, I expected the fruit to disappear into the bread, leaving only the flavours – and some colour – behind.
Which is what happened!
The dried figs turned the bread into something intense and cake-like; the fresh figs made it into a versatile bread, good with ham, cheese and, ahem, chocolate spread.