Sunday, October 16, 2022

Babes Bake Figgy Flatbread

It's the 16th of the month...the day for the Bread Baking Babes to share what they have been up to this month.

I'm Kitchen of the Month for October and I chose a lovely flatbread recipe for fall, enhanced with rosemary and figs and nuts. The recipe is from a cookbook that I found on sale at a local bookstore. The book is Joanne Weir's More Cooking in the Wine Country. The author, Joanne Weir is on a Public Televisions series 'Weir Cooking in the Wine Country II' and there are lots of delicious sounding recipes in the book. The first time I baked it I followed the recipe, but divided the dough in half and baked half with walnuts and half with pecans, plus I added some fresh figs to the dried figs. It was delicious!

For the second bake I left out the rosemary but added lemon zest along with the orange zest in the original recipe, plus I substituted pine nuts, and some whole wheat flour for part of the flour. As you can see, this is a versatile recipe. This time I had intended to weigh the ingredients, using the amounts provided by Elizabeth of Blogging from OUR Kitchen (THANK YOU Elizabeth!), but forgot to and used the cup measurements. I also used some fresh Italian prune plumbs along with the dried figs. They are in season now and added, along with the pine nuts, to the Italian feel of this flatbread. The whole wheat bread was nicely nutty but bland without the rosemary. Next time I'll stop being lazy and put in the rosemary as called really does make a difference.

This is an easy dough to work with. It might seem a bit stickier than you are used to, due to the use of potato water, but use wet hands and it will be fine. If you bake this and would like to be a Bread Baking Babes Buddy, just send me an email with a brief description of your bake and a photo and the URL of your post by Oct. 29th. Email is plachman*at*sonic*dot*net. I'll send you a Buddy Badge and include you in the round-up at the end of the month. The description and photos below are from my first bake. At the bottom I have some photos from the one with pine nuts and prune plums.

Be sure to visit the rest of the Bread Baking Babes to see what marvelous flatbreads they have created.

Kelly - A Messy Kitchen - Flatbread with figs and pears

Karen - Karen's Kitchen Stories - Flatbread with figs and sherry

Cathy - Bread Experience - Sourdough flatbread with home-grown dried figs 

Judy - Judy's Gross Eats - Flatbread with apricots and almonds

Aparna - My Diverse Kitchen - Flatbread with dried figs and walnuts and onions

Elizabeth - Flatbread with dates and pine nuts and red onions

This is one of those recipes where you can do parts in advance. I made the rosemary-infused olive oil a day ahead, cooked the potatoes the evening before I made the dough, saving the potato water and re-warming it, I even soaked the figs a day early and stored them in the marsala. Even though the recipe only calls for dried figs, it's fresh fig season, so I also included sliced fresh figs and I highly recommend this change! 

The dough is slightly sticky but not a high-hydration one, just soft. Once it rose and was punched down, it was pretty easy to work with. The first piece rolled out easily but the second one needed to have relaxation time after it was flattened before it would  roll out large enough. It baked up light on the inside and crisp and lightly brown on the outside.

Because I was working with fresh figs as well as dried, I watched the flatbread carefully towards the end of baking to avoid burning the fruit...which has so much natural sugar. I had the flatbreads on pieces of parchment which made it easier to get them onto the baking stone and then out of the oven when finished, although I did use a peel, with the parchment pieces on the peel.

 I typed this up exactly as it is in the cookbook...make changes as desired, although I do encourage you to make the bread dough with the potato water and rosemary oil and chopped rosemary. If you want to use your sourdough starter, just skip the yeast/bread flour/potato water initial poolish and use 1/2 cup sourdough starter. You might need more bread flour to get the dough right, but sourdough would be great with the topping. The recipe with weights, courtesy of Elizabeth, will be at the bottom, along with the photos of the flatbread baked using those measurements.

Happy Baking!

Fig and Walnut Flatbread

from Joanne Weir's More Cooking in the Wine Country cookbook
makes 1 flatbread, serves 6

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 1/2 teaspoons (I package) dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 2 cups unbleached bread flour, divided
1/2 cup lukewarm potato water or plain water (110 degrees F)
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup potato water (additional)
1 teaspoon salt

6 to 8 dried figs, sliced
1 cup Marsala wine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick vertical slices
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon greated orange zest
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup walnut halves

In a small saucepan, warm the olive oil and rosemary. Remove from the heat and let cool for I hour. Discard the rosemary sprigs. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup warm potato water. Let stand 1 hour, until it bubbles up and rises. Then add the remaining 2 cups flour, the rosemary olive oil, chopped rosemary, additional potato water, and salt. Mix the dough thoroughly. Knead the dough on a floured board until it is soft but still moist, 7-8 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning it once to cover it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place (about 75 degrees F). Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled in volume.

In the meantime, prepare the topping. Place the figs and Marsala in a small saucepan, and heat over medium heat until the Marsala bubbles around the edges, 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour.

Heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft, 15-20 minutes. Add the orange zest, season with salt and pepper, stir thoroughly, and set aside to cool.

Place a pizza stone on the bottom shelf of the oven, and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Form the dough into a round ball. Let it rest for 5 minutes. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to form a 9x12-inch oval, 1/2-inch thick. Place it on a well-floured pizza peel. 

Drain the figs and distribute the figs, onions, and walnuts evenly over the dough. Lightly press them into the dough. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Then transfer the flatbread to the pizza stone and bake until golden brown and crispy, 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Here are the measurements by weight. Just use the instructions above to make the flatbreads.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil [60 ml/55 grams]

3 sprigs fresh rosemary (I skipped the rosemary in the whole wheat version)
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 package) dry yeast [7 grams]
1/2 cup plus 2 cups unbleached bread flour, divided [68 plus 274 grams] (I used all whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup lukewarm potato water or plain water (110 degrees F) [120 grams]
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary [1 gram] (skipped this for whole wheat version)
1/2 cup potato water (additional) [120 grams]
1 teaspoon salt [6 grams]

6 to 8 dried figs, sliced [50 to 67 grams]
1 cup Marsala wine [240ml/240grams]
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil [45 ml/41 grams]
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick vertical slices
1 tablespoon sugar [12 grams]
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest [1 gram]
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest [1 gram]
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup walnut halves [75 grams] (I used untoasted pine nuts)
(I used three small prune plums, pits removed and thinly sliced...forgot to weigh them) Below is a photo of the topping. I added the drained figs and the plums once the mixture was off the heat.

Whole wheat version baked:
and served:


  1. This looks and sounds so delicous! I'm really looking forward to trying it.

  2. Thanks for the great bake! And thanks for hosting.

  3. That filling in the cast iron is just beautiful!

  4. Your fig flatbread looks awesome! Thanks so much for choosing this as the bread of the month. I love the texture and the flavors of this flatbread.

  5. Wow! They all look wonderful!