1.Combine yeast, sugar and the water in a medium bowl of an electric mixer. Stand in a warm place 10 minutes or until bubbly.
2.Add flour and salt to the bowl; mix with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook on the knead setting 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to a board; press out to flatten slightly. Top with nuts and figs, knead into dough.
3.Place dough in an oiled bowl. Place bowl in a large plastic bag; seal bag. Stand in a warm place 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size.
4.Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F; heat an oven tray.
5.Punch down dough with fist. Knead dough on floured surface into oval shape, 28cm long. Place dough on a large piece of baking paper, then on a board. Place board in plastic bag; seal bag. Stand in a warm place 15 minutes or until risen slightly.
6.Remove bag; transfer dough to hot oven tray. Sprinkle the top with a little extra flour. Using a small sharp knife, make a shallow cut along the length of the loaf, leaving a 4cm border at each end. Spray bread and tray lightly with a fine mist of water, or sprinkle lightly with water.
7.Bake bread 35 minutes or until browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
If you don’t have a mixer with a dough hook, knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes by pulling and stretching the dough every quarter turn. This bread is best made on the day of serving, but is also delicious toasted and served with cheese or spread with ricotta and drizzled with honey.