Fig and Walnut Bread with Gorgonzola Butter



Beyond the baguette, there are many specialty breads to be found in French bakeries. This one is a specialty of the Perigord region, where walnuts are abundant. I love to serve this bread with a Gorgonzola compound butter. That recipe follows. The bread also makes a wonderful ham or turkey sandwich and would be perfect on a charcuterie tray. This is not a light, airy bread. It is dense and substantial with fruit and nuts and best sliced thin, about ¼ inch.

It’s better to mix and knead this bread by hand to keep the figs intact. Using the mixer blends the figs in too much, but it comes together easily with just a rubber spatula and a bench knife.

Makes 2 loaves


• 4 cups all‑purpose flour, plus more for kneading board
• 2 cups dark rye flour
• 2 tbsp instant yeast
• 2 tbsp fennel seeds
• 1 tbsp sea salt
• 2 cups chopped dried figs (about 14 ounces)
• 2 ¼ cups water, warmed to 110 degrees
• 4 tbsp sorghum syrup or molasses
• 2 tbsp walnut oil or olive oil
• 2 cups toasted and broken walnuts (about 4 ounces)
• a little more oil for brushing the top

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