FOCACCIA DOLCE CON FICHI E SEMI DI FINOCCHIO or SWEET FOCCACCIA WITH FIGS AND FENNEL SEEDS

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I was going to skip Weekend Herb Blogging this week as well because it’s just too hot here but when I realized that it was Paz of The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz who is hosting it this week, I just had to participate! Paz is one of the food bloggers who has become a friend of mine since I started this blog and as a true friend I just can’t let her off easily so here Paz, another post to present in your roundup (as if it wasn’t enough already)! Another of my food blogger friends, Michelle of The Accidental Scientist, is featured here, doesn’t she just have the best of taste? And isn’t she pretty as well? She really deserves a lot of attention because not only does she post great recipes, she writes really well too!

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This week I’m WHBing about fennel seeds. I’m really fond of fennel seeds and I often use it in the bread I bake. The Latin name is Foeniculum vulgare and it is useful for your digestion and often used to alleviate intestinal gas problems. I remember that drinking fennel seed tea is supposed to increase the milk production when you are breast feeding but I honestly don’t care what it does to me, I just love the taste of it! Yesterday evening my neighbour Virgilio turned up again with more fresh figs so today when I made bread I used some of the dough to make a sweet foccaccia with fresh figs and fennel seeds on top. And I can tell you that it was good! Really good! If you don’t mind me being so presumptuous to say so myself…

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FOCACCIA DOLCE CON FICHI E SEMI DI FINOCCHIO or SWEET FOCCACCIA WITH FIGS AND FENNEL SEEDS

500 g / 17 1/2oz flour
8 tbsp wheat bran
500 ml / 17 1/2fl oz water
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp sugar
12 g / 1/2oz fresh yeast
6-8 fresh figs
3-4 tbsp fennel seeds
3-4 tbsp brown sugar, I used Cassonade
Olive oil

– Let the yeast melt together with the salt and the sugar (both of them just melts the yeast, don’t ask me why, it’s just a fact) and pour the finger-warm water over it. Stir and add the wheat bran and the flour. Work the dough well and leave it to rise for about one hour.
– Pour a little oil in any kind of oven-proof pan and, depending on the size of the pan, flatten out the dough either in one piece or in two round and flat cakes.
– Rinse the figs well and then slice them into relatively thin slices. Put these on top of the foccaccia, you should more or less cover the surface with them, sprinkle the fennel seeds and sugar over before you pour some olive oil over the whole.
– Bake in a pre-heated oven (225° centigrades) for about 15-20 minutes, the foccaccia should be golden and the figs soft.
– Eat and enjoy!

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