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Experimental Fig Sourdough


350g Strong white flour

50g Shipton-mill organic stoneground wholemeal flour

85g fed sourdough starter (100% hydration)

265ml tepid water

6g sea salt

80g soft figs (can be bought in the baking aisle in supermarkets)

30g pumpkin seeds - chopped or blitzed a little in a food processor


In a large mixing bowl add the flour, starter, water, figs and pumpkin seeds, mix by hand or with a spatula just enough to combine everything.

Cover and leave for 30 minutes.

Add the salt and 1 tablespoon of water and combine well

Cover and leave for 60 minutes, then stretch and fold ( 4 - 6 folds in total), cover

Repeat the stretch and fold process 3 more times at 60 minute intervals, so in total this will take 4 hours.

Prepare your proofing basket/vessel you use to proof your dough. I use a pyrex mixing bowl lined with a tea towel dusted with a mix of flour and rice flour to avoid sticking.

The dough should have risen by about a third and bubbles visible.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and gently shape into your preferred loaf shape. Ensure you tighten the dough a little during this process but don't overwork. Sprinkle the top of your shaped dough with a mix of flour and rice flour, then gently put into your proofing vessel, turning so the top is on the bottom of the basket and the underside of the dough is facing up. Sprinkle lightly with flour and rice flour, cover and put in the fridge for 12 hours.

The bread can be baked in any number of different dishes, personally I use an enamel casserole dish with a lid, but dutch ovens work and so do pyrex dishes with lids.

At the end of the 12 hours pre-heat your oven to 230C with the cooking pot in the oven, for at least 30 minutes.

Cut a large piece of greaseproof paper, big enough to put the dough on and to come up the sides of the cooking pot.

Gently turn your proofed dough out onto the greasproof paper, so the top is facing up. Decorate your dough however you wish, I brushed lightly with water and seeded this loaf, but it's equally as nice brushed with rice flour.

Score your dough, I used a cross but anything works. Get your hot pot out of the oven and gently lift the greaseproof paper with the dough on it into the pan and put the lid on. Put it in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and cook for a further 10 - 12 minutes.

Take the pot out of the oven, lift the loaf out using the greaseproof paper and put on a wire rack to cool.