1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (100° - 110°F)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour, divided
2 tablespoons walnut oil or olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped English walnuts, toasted
6 dried figs
Coarsely ground sea salt, optional
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- In mixer bowl, combine water, yeast and 2 cups flour. Cover; set aside in a warm place 2 hours until doubled and bubbly.
- Gradually mix in remaining flour, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix on low speed 3 to 5 minutes. Knead dough 5 minutes with dough hook. The dough should be very wet and smooth.
- Scrape dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Round into a ball and place in a large bowl which has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spray the top of the dough lightly; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
- While dough rises, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread chopped walnuts in an ungreased pan; toast 7 to 8 minutes or until light golden, stirring once after 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Remove and discard hard stem from figs; chop fine.
- Turn the dough out onto the floured work surface or pastry cloth, but do not punch down. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half slightly into a rectangle. Sprinkle half of the cooled walnuts and figs evenly over each piece of dough. Fold one-third of dough to center, and then fold the remaining third over the top to enfold all of the walnuts and figs.
- Grease a 12 x 18 x 1-inch pan. Transfer dough pieces to pan, leaving 3 inches in between. Press dough out toward the edges of the pan with fingertips, until each half is approximately 7 by 5 inches. Brush dough lightly with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise for 30 minutes.
- Move oven rack into the lower third of the oven. If a baking stone is available, place it on the rack, then preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Lightly dimple risen focaccia with fingers. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with coarsely ground sea salt and chopped rosemary. Combine honey and balsamic vinegar; drizzle over surface.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pan once, or until golden brown. Serve while warm.
Makes 2 loaves, 16 slices each.
Nutrition information per serving:
One slice provides approximately 79 calories; 2 g protein; 13 g carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber; 2 g fat (0 g saturated); 0 mg cholesterol; 29 mcg folate; 1 mg iron and 75 mg sodium.