Wheat Beer Walnut and Fig Breadmaker Loaf

This recipe is based (very loosely) on a bread from northern France although the original was an artisan product needing a lot more time and attention than most of us can spare for a loaf. So here's my simplified, busy person's machine-made version. It may not have quite the finesse of the original, but it still makes a very good alternative to the usual breadmaker loaves. In fact, it's one of my favourite machine breads. It works especially well with pâtés and cheeses.

There are plenty of very good wheat beers available in supermarkets and specialist shops but if you come across any bottles of Noyon's Blanche de Wissant in your travels then I'd recommend grabbing some. It's a fine beer that's from the same area as the original recipe. If you can't lay your hands on any wheat beer, then you could use a lighter style of lager as an alternative. In fact this recipe can be adapted quite easily by changing the type of nut or dried fruit as well as the type of beer. With some more intense, darker beers you may find you need to increase the amount of sugar or swap some of the beer for water to avoid the bread developing an overly bitter taste.
Beer, Walnut and Fig Bread
The recipe given here was developed for a Panasonic breadmaker but it will work just fine in other breadmakers. The order in which the ingredients are added to the breadmaker and the names of the programs may well differ for other types of machine, though, so always consult the manual for your model if in doubt.   

1¼ tsp dried fast action / easy blend yeast (the sort intended for breadmakers)
325 g strong white flour
150 g spelt flour
3 tsp sugar
1¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp walnut oil
280 ml wheat beer
30 ml water
70 g chopped walnuts
70 g chopped dried figs

Add all the ingredients except the walnuts and figs to the breadmaker in the appropriate order. The order given here is for a Panasonic model – check the manual for other models. Set the programme to large size, basic bake setting. If your breadmaker has a dispenser that automatically adds additional ingredients then put the walnuts and figs in the dispenser and set the breadmaker accordingly. If the breadmaker doesn't have an automatic dispenser then you'll need to add the walnuts and figs at the time recommended in the manual for your machine.


  1. This sounds and looks good, Phil, and I have a Panasonic breadmaker - perfect. Love the idea of figs and walnuts together.

    1. I think that figs and walnuts work well together in a bread and this is a bread that's good on summer picnics, but in some ways I think it's even nicer to cheer you up during the winter.

  2. Phil I made this bread yesterday, and it is really good. Had a friend for tea and she loved it too.

    1. I'm really pleased that the bread worked well for you. I know that many people think that machine bread is just not real, proper bread but we're obviously made of sterner stuff.

  3. ow that really does sound good enough to eat. Diane

  4. I can't imagine finding wheat bear anywhere around here, but if ever I do find some I shall get it and make this loaf. It sounds too good to miss.

    1. I do have the annoying habit of assuming that everyone lives just around the corner from a well-stocked supermarket. But I'm wondering if you might find St Austell's Brewery Clouded Yellow somewhere near you. It's a characterful, cloudy wheat beer brewed with coriander and maple syrup. I've never used it in this bread but I have a feeling that it would work really well.


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