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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, pepper, salt and yeast. Stir in the olive oil and enough warm water to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins until smooth and elastic.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled, large bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. When the dough has risen, knead it again to incorporate the figs, by pushing the dough and lightly kneading them in. Don’t overwork the dough; it can look quite rough.
Shape the dough into a rough oval and put on a lightly floured baking sheet. Using scissors, slash the top of the loaf and sprinkle over a little flour. Leave it to rise again, uncovered, until slightly swelled, about 10-15 mins (if the kitchen is warm). Bake for 40-45 mins until it sounds hollow when you tap it underneath, then cool on a wire rack.