- In a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven, combine the flour, salt and yeast. Add the water. Stir with a fork until completely moistened, but not completely smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm, humid place for 2 hours or until the dough has tripled in volume (see note).
- Place the whole wheat flour into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Sprinkle the figs and cheese on the surface of the dough. Fold the risen dough onto itself, about 6 folds, or until the figs and cheese are completely enveloped. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. Place in the bowl of whole wheat flour and coat on all sides. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in volume.
- Meanwhile, with the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 450°F (225°C). Place the cleaned pot or Dutch oven in the oven and heat for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the oven. Drop the dough and all the flour into the centre of the pot. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
- Let cool. Remove the excess flour.
- The bread will be very crusty and keeps for about 2 days.
The microwave and oven are perfect places to let dough rise; place a cup of boiling water inside the apparatus to create a warm, humid environment.