Sourdough + Fig + Fennel + Lemon

I went to the farmers Market in my neighborhood on my day off,

and found my favorite ingredient.

Dried figs!!!

Immediately, I grabbed a bag of the dried figs and the next moment, I started thinking about my next baking project.

Fig and…


Yuko - Sourdough + Fig + Fennel + Lemon

How about Fig and Fennel?

Actually, I submitted my bread recipe on Food 52 recipe contest the other day!

Fennel and Lemon Boule – Smoked with Earl Grey Tea

Since the theme ingredient was “Fennel”, my brain was full of “Fennel” + “bread” at the time!

So, I decided to use the fennel seeds as a company of the dried figs,

also added the zested lemon to tie the flavor of the fig and fennel seeds.

Yuko - Sourdough + Fig + Fennel + Lemon

I can’t wait to bake it! 

Yuko - Sourdough + Fig + Fennel + Lemon

A short baguette or long batard? Looks like a sweet potato… haha :-)

Yuko - Sourdough + Fig + Fennel + Lemon

The best part was the baked dried figs, which half-melted into the dough and turned out almost like fig jam!

On top of that, the flavor of the fennel seeds and zested lemon was superb!

Oh boy… I can’t stop eating!!!

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting

Sourdough + Fig + Fennel + Lemon

Makes 1 medium size loaf



266 g Bread flour

100 g Water

4 g Fennel Seeds

92 g Hot water

5 g Salt

100 g Chopped Dried Figs

4 g Zested Lemon

80 g 60% Firm sourdough starter



314.8 g Bread Flour (100%)

233 g Water (74%)

5 g Salt (1.6% )

100 g Dried Figs (31.78% )

4 g Fennel Seeds(1.27% )

4 g Zested Lemon (1.27% )


  1. Soak the Fennel seeds in 92 hot water to infuse the fennel flavor into the water. Let it cool.
  2. Making the Levain — In a mixing bowl, combine 44.4 g Bread Flour, 26.6 Water and 8.8 g Sourdough seed starter / culture. Let it preferment at room temperature for 12 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, mix 266 g Bread flour and 100 g water and 92 g + 4 g fennel infused water, cover it with plastic and Autolyse for for 12 hours.
  4. Mix Levain into autolysed dough and slap & fold for 1 minute.
  5. Add salt and slap & fold for 1 minute or until the dough becomes a rough ball.
  6. Let it rest for  30 minutes.
  7. Add chopped dried figs and 1 set Stretch & Fold (1 set = right over left, left over right, bottom over top, top over bottom)
  8. Let it rest for  30 minutes.
  9. Add Zested lemon and 1 set Stretch & Fold
  10. Let it rest for  30 minutes.
  11. Another set Stretch & Fold
  12. At a cooler place, let it rise until the dough just starts showing the ‘activity’ and becomes about a third in size.
  13. Put it in the fridge for 18-24 hours.
  14. Pull it out of the fridge and leave it out for 1 hour.
  15. Pre-shape the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  16. Shape into Bâtard and place onto a well-floured tea towel, seam-side up.
  17. Final fermentation for 60 – 90 minutes.
  18. 1 hour before you plan to bake, preheat the oven to 500°F.
  19. Score the top of the Bâtard using a lame or a sharp, serrated knife.
  20. Put the bread in the preheated oven.
  21. Bake the bread for 30 minutes, 480°F with steam.
  22. Turn the heat down to 460°F and bake for 10-15 minutes without steam.
  23. Once the bread is nicely brown, turn the heat off  and let it sit in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
  24. Let it cool onto a rack.
  25. Enjoy!

23 Responses to “Sourdough + Fig + Fennel + Lemon”
  1. Francesca says:

    I love dry figs. The bread must taste wonderfully. Lovely pictures.

    • Thank you so much for your lovely words, Francesca! This bread came out very good and became one of my favorite. I want to bake it again and again.

  2. narf77 says:

    That sounds amazing! I bet it tastes heavenly :). I adore dried figs and could eat packets of them neat but combined with these wonderful ingredients in a bready envelope who could resist them?

  3. bentodays says:

    Oh this looks fabulous! Lovely combination.

  4. Stefano says:

    Looks and sounds super-delicious, Yuko! Way to go!

  5. michaelawah says:

    hi yuko, i love fennel too! in fact i just made a fennel, sesame and poppyseed cake but I didn’t post about it. You must try making Chad Robertson’s semolina bread with roasted fennel and coriander seeds, and orange zest and golden raisins – does that not sound nice already?? I’ve made it many times, it is wonderful. happy baking!

  6. michaelawah says:

    sorry, i meant a fennel, sesame and poppyseed BREAD not cake :)

  7. Yumyumyum!! This is such a revolutionary bread, Yuko! I wish I could do this :)

  8. Eun Oh says:

    I love the combination of the Fennel and lemon. I can’t wait to convert the formula to 100% hydration starter and bake it! Thank you for the recipe!^^

  9. Embo says:

    This looks amazing! I started the preparation this morning and have the levain and bread flour mix fermenting.
    Question: the levain mix calls for 8.8g of sourdough starter but the ingredients list states 80g. I’ve read and reread the recipe and I can’t see where ther other 71.2g of starter is used. Is this a bakers’ percentage thing that I don’t know about (I’m a sourdough beginner)? Help! I’d really like this bread to come out well!

    • Embo, 8.8g sourdough starter/culture means “mother”. Final sourdough starter 80g (accurate number is 79.8g though..) consists of 8.8g “mother”, 44.4g flour and 26.6g Water.
      I hope it’ll be helpful to you :-)
      Thanks for your nice comment and hope your bread will turn out good!

  10. Julie says:

    Thank you for the recipe and instructions. This turned out wonderfully. I think I’m addicted!

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