The Great Australian Bake Off

These beautiful baguettes are the perfect homemade addition for your next lunch or picnic.


  • 130g dried figs, chopped into 0.5 cm dice

  • 100ml verjuice

  • 135g walnuts

  • 14g instant dried yeast

  • 15g caster sugar

  • 200ml lukewarm water, plus approx 450mls extra

  • 830g white bread flour, plus extra, to dust

  • 160g organic rye flour

  • 30g sea salt flakes

  • 60mls walnut oil

  • 4 tsp (8g) fennel seeds, lightly toasted


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 180°C.

  • 2.

    Combine the chopped figs and verjuice in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, and then microwave on high for a further 15 seconds. Cool completely, and then drain.

  • 3.

    Place walnuts on a baking tray and roast for about 8-10 minutes until golden and crisp. Rub the walnuts in a clean tea towel to remove the bitter skins. Allow to cool, and then finely chop.

  • 4.

    Combine the yeast, sugar and 200ml of lukewarm water in a small bowl, then stir to dissolve yeast and set aside for 5-10 minutes or until frothy.

  • 5.

    Combine the flours, salt and oil in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, with the motor running on low; add the yeast mixture and 350-450ml of the extra warm water to make soft but not sloppy dough, and then continue to mix on medium speed for 5-7 minutes until you have glossy elastic dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, spread the dough into a largish rectangle, scatter the chopped walnuts, drained figs and fennel seeds over, and knead into the dough. Dust a large mixing bowl with flour and return the dough. Place a piece of plastic film loosely over the surface of the dough. Prove until doubled in volume, about 30-45 minutes.

  • 6.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide evenly into six pieces. Shape into French baguettes approximately 35cm from tip to tip and dust with flour. Using a paring knife, quickly cut seven slashes down the top. Place baguettes among two baking trays and lightly cover with a couple of sheets of plastic wrap, prove for 15-25 minutes or until ready to bake.

  • 7.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C. Mist the oven with water and bake the baguettes for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

  • 8.

    Turn out onto a wire rack. Present six baguettes.

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