Monday, August 11, 2014

Pain aux Figues - a yeast free alternative

When I lived in France, there were several fantastic bakeries but one in particular was my favourite. It was one of the first bakeries that I visited in the town and despite living an hour away it remained a frequent haunt for me. I even woke my father one morning at 6am to bring him across town and get the freshest bread from this bakery and if you met him he would tell you this story with much more flourish and detail (he's a much better story teller than me!). Suffice is to say, there are a lot of positive memories from this place. One of the more interesting breads made by this bakery was the 'pain aux figues.' What was interesting about this bread was that it contained no yeast. It was more like a scone but with less sweetness so it combines as well with cheese as with butter and jam. Basically it combines french flavour with Irish soda bread, so kinda the best of both worlds. So this is my attempt to replicate it.

Pain aux Figues (yeast free version)

100g Dried figs cut up
250g white bread flour
150g whole meal flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 eggs
60ml milk
50-100ml water
1 tsp of honey

1. Preheat the oven to 200'C

2. Mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar and figs.

3. Beat together the milk and 1 whole egg and one egg yolk

4. Add the milk and egg mixture into the flour and mix thoroughly.

5. Add the water slowly while beating until a dough  sticks together.

6. Flour a board and work the dough only enough to form a bread shape (I worked it a good bit as I
    wanted this bread to be thick).

7.  Slash the bread and use the remaining egg white and honey to glaze the dough before baking for 20-30 minutes or until hollow sounding when tapped.

8 - Remove once cooked and let cool for 20 minutes or so before serving.

This bread goes beautifully with sweet or savoury accompaniment. It would go perfectly with goats cheese and a little honey. So yeah hopefully you'll enjoy

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