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La Belle Cuisine - More Bread Recipes
Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion
"To cook is to
create. And to create well...is an act of integrity, and faith,"
Fig and Pear Bread
"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of
lightly flowing water,
is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight..."
- M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating
Recipe of the Day Categories:
Friday, November 10, 2006
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Fig and Pear Bread
4 cups (about) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
1 envelope dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 2/3 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees F.)
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup dried currants, soaked 5 minutes in hot water, drained
6 Calimyrna figs, stemmed, each cut into eighths
3 large dried pear halves, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup sliced almonds (about 2 ounces)
Mix 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup warm water and yeast in medium
bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. Mix 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, cloves and nutmeg in bowl of
heavy-duty mixer fitted with paddle attachment. (Dough can also be made by hand.) Add
yeast mixture, milk, 1/2 cup warm water, butter and egg yolks and mix until combined.
Replace paddle with dough hook and knead in enough of remaining flour to form soft dough.
Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Grease large bowl. Add dough, turning to
coat entire surface. Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rise in warm draft-free area
until doubled, about
1 1/2 hours. Line large baking sheet with parchment. Punch dough down.
Roll out on lightly floured surface to thickness of 1/4 inch. Sprinkle almonds and currants
over; press gently to adhere. Fold dough in half. Roll gently to seal. Sprinkle figs and
pears over. Fold dough in half. Knead dough gently to distribute fruit and nuts. Divide
dough in half. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Shape each half into smooth round. Set
rounds on prepared sheet, spacing evenly apart. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let dough
rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to
375 degrees F. Brush glaze over loaves. Arrange sliced almonds atop loaves in wreath pattern.
Bake loaves 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, about 40
minutes more, covering tops with foil during last 15 minutes. Cool completely on racks.
(Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Wrap in foil.)
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