Thursday, 20 March 2014

dried fig and chestnut sourdough

it's the autumnal equinox
crisp leaves flutter along gutters
crackling indecipherable whispers
the tick tock of the seasonal clock gently pulsates
and the big hand softly softly guides
the precious orb we call home through celestial space

last autumn i made a similar loaf but this time i added chestnut honey as well as chestnut flour to the dough and instead of incorporating the figs throughout the dough i made a filling of unsweetened chestnut puree, dried figs and chestnut honey and i spread this on the rolled out dough..i wanted a versatile bread so i purposely didn't make it very sweet

fig and chestnut sourdough
tea with hazel



1 large tablespoon (tbs) active starter
100 gms organic bread flour
125 gms filtered water


8-10 organic figs cut small
2-3 tbs unsweetened chestnut puree
1-2 tbs organic chestnut honey


250 gms levain
250 gms organic bread flour
100 gms wholemeal biodynamic flour
50 gms chestnut flour
1 tbs organic chestnut honey
1 1/2 tbs crushed murray river salt (less if using conventional table salt)
filtered water



~ mix all ingredients, cover, and leave for 12-14 hours


~ place the figs, chestnut puree and honey in the bowl of a food processor and pulse the mixture briefly without pureeing the figs and until the mixture just forms a cohesive paste


~ place levain, flours and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix adding enough filtered water to make a shaggy dough
~ autolyse for 20 minutes
~ add salt, mix briefly, rest for 5 minutes, then mix again for about 30 seconds
~ remove bowl from stand mixer, cover the dough with oiled cling film, and leave to prove until doubled
~ remove the dough to a lightly flour dusted bench, divide in two, and do two stretch and fold cycles with a 5-10 minute rest intervals
~ roll each piece of dough into an oblong and spread the dough with the filling leaving 2 cm borders free of filling
~  roll the dough and pinch seams closed
~ dust with flour and place seam side up in flour dusted bannetons
~ cover loosely with cling film and leave for 2-3 hours to prove or until a finger pressed into the dough leaves an impression
~ invert the dough onto a wooden peel, slash, slide onto baking surface (i use a cast iron plate) and bake with steam at 250 deg c for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 215 deg c and bake for a further 20 minutes or until cooked

san daniele proscuitto, holy goat brigid's well 
and dried fig and chestnut sourdough

gone are the hot days of summer..mornings are dewy and cloudy skies tantalising with a promise of rain..i'm happy..very happy..x


  1. Hello Jane. I am happy to see autumn too, bring on the cooler days I say! More amazing, creative bread from your kitchen. I have not used chestnut flour before. Dried figs are beautiful aren't they? I was just talking to a friend yesterday about making sourdough hot cross buns with dried figs in the fruit mix. Your little platter looks like a feast! I can only imagine how good that cheese and bread were together! Happy Sunday to you x

    1. thanks jane..i think dried figs would be fantastic in hot cross buns..i'm looking forward to hearing how you go if you decide to make them..x

  2. Oh gosh I hadn't even thought of the Autumn equinox, it's been still so warm here it feels like summer is never ending. Today is the first day it feels slightly cooler and hooray to that I say.
    Lovely looking bread Jane.

  3. thanks brydie..a bit of rain would be good with the cooler weather too..x

  4. You know, Autumn came, and I didn't even notice. Such a gorgeous bread you've baked Jane - love the huge crevices in the tops of the loaves... xx