Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fig-Anise 50% Whole-Wheat Bread

This Fig-Anise 50% Whole-Wheat bread was developed with the help of baker Martin Philip during the Creating Signature Breads workshop at the Kneading Conference West 2013.


By percentages

By weights (for four loaves)

  1. Using mixer on first speed, combine flours, water and levain until incorporated (reserve about 10% of the water for later adjustments if needed) 
  2. Sprinkle salt and yeast on top
  3. Give a 15 to 30 minute rest (we didn't have time to do a longer autolyse at the Kneading Conference but a longer one would have been better)
  4. Turn mixer back on to incorporate yeast and salt
  5. Check hydration: dough should feel supple. Adjust as necessary
  6. Mix 2 min on second speed until gluten is fully developed
  7. Put in anise seeds, soaked grains (don't strain them) and figs
  8. Mix to combine on first speed: dough will fall apart first, then knit itself together
  9. DDT: 78°F
  10. Fermentation: 3 hours with one fold at 45 min
  11. Scale at 560 g
  12. Pre-shape as a loose boule (you have to be really gentle with this dough as it contains a lot of whole wheat and could get really dense if manipulated briskly)
  13. Shape as batards or tear-drops (to mimic shape of fig). If using a tear-drop shape, fold one end of the batard over itself as illustrated below
  14. Proof seam-up in floured bannetons or on floured couches for 45 min to one hour (use whole-wheat or whole-spelt flour)
  15. When loading on a peel, give each tear-drop loaf a slight curve to one side
  16. Bake for 32 to 35 min at 450° F, with steam
  17. Cool on a rack
  18. Enjoy!

For detailed information on various aspects of artisan bread baking, please visit King Arthur's YouTube channel: in this video in particular, from 6:38 min on, Martin Philip demonstrates how to shape a batard (in the first part of the video, master baker Jeffrey Hamelman shows how to shape both boules and baguettes).
For those of you who are using BreadStorm (including the free version), please click on this link to import the formula so that you can scale it up or down as desired.


  1. MC,
    Having had the pleasure of tasting this bread, I am especially grateful to you for your careful note-taking, making it possible to try re-creating this bread here at home.
    Thank you for sharing all of the helpful details. The sketch, and photos, are fantastic - lovely to see the dough at its different stages, and a master at work.
    :^) breadsong

  2. Fig and anise - an inspired combination! I must try this recipe sometime. I'm also intrigued by the Breadstorm software, which I'd not heard of before. Thanks!



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