Fennel Fig & Almond Bread

 

I made this bread last year and loved it.  Somehow it never made it to the blog but I never forgot about it and finally got around to making another loaf.  A few months ago I also made a small batch of fig preserves which I broke into last week to spread on slices of my  fresh baked fennel fig and almond bread- I think  the preserves made this bread taste even better than how I remembered from the first time around.  This is really a fig lover’s bread, filled with chopped dried figs, slivers of almonds and aromatic crushed fennel seeds.  January is a good month to bake with dried fruit or to break into those homemade jars of preserves, if there are any leftover from the warmer months when the piles of fresh fruit in the markets just seemed to go on and on forever inspiring us to make our jams, jellies and preserves.

Today is one of those Winter days in the Bay Area with bright blue skies and a little coolness in the air-perfect for taking a walk in the neighborhood or a hike in the beautiful hills of Marin. It’s interesting how the color of the sky can effect your mood. Last week when we had grey skies and rain it felt like a dark gloomy Winter’s day, today under bright blue skies the world is your oyster.

Under those grey skies last week we painted our kitchen, now it feels fresh, like an early Spring cleaning. Being locked out of my kitchen for almost a week made me appreciate being able to get in and do some bread baking. So, on Sunday in between a long hike and an evening in San Francisco, I happily spread out my mise en place on the kitchen counter, rolled up my sleeves (aka- put on my apron!) and did some baking. I’ll have some fresh baked scones to share over the weekend while I’m in New Orleans-that’s right lucky me- I’m going to see my San Francisco 49ers play in the Super Bowl! Now I’m just trying to decide if I should wear my lucky red and gold cowboy boots to the game and I think you know the answer to that is a resounding YES You Should!!!

Fennel Fig & Almond Bread

Yield: 12-16 slices

Adapted from Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (8-9 ounces) stemmed and diced dried Mission figs
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Butter or spray a 9x5 loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and fennel seeds in a medium bowl and whisk together to mix.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer on medium speed beat together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Beat 1/2 the flour mixture into the butter mixture and then gently beat in the milk, about 1/3 at a time.
  7. Beat in the remaining flour mixture on low speed.
  8. Fold in the figs and almonds with a rubber spatula.
  9. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  10. Bake the bread for about 1 hour or until a thin knife or toothpick inserted into the center or the bread comes out with a few dry crumbs attached.
  11. Cool the bread for about 5 minutes, remove from pan and continue cooling on a metal rack until completely cool before slicing.
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Comments

  1. Have fun in New Orleans Patty! I’m sure besides the big game they’ll be tons of great food and wonderful culinary inspiration! Your bread looks wonderful, if you can’t eat it all before you leave, send what’s left this way – with the jam ,please! :)

    • pattysfood says:

      Thanks Chris- I would love to send some bread your way and I am looking forward to enjoying some great food this weekend!

  2. What a lovely loaf, Patty! Perfect for a snack with tea :).

  3. This bread just sounds wonderful! I love figs in anything!
    Have fun in New Orleans, Patty….Goooo Niners! A great restaurant to try is Dickie Brennan’s Palace Cafe on Canal St. We ate there in October and just loved it!

  4. Yes you should wear them for sure! You are going to have a blast at the game. I know the weather is so nice I couldn’t help but get out myself this morning and literally just bathe in the sunlight. I’m finally using my hoard of jams too, lol. I have a jar of fig left that will need something. I bet this smell way better than paint smell. Go Niners.
    -Gina-

  5. You had me at fig.
    You are one lucky chickie – have an awesome time in NOLA. We’ll look for you in the crowd :-)

  6. Oh my, do you deliver or ship???

  7. You are SO lucky to be going to the Super Bowl! Hope you have an awesome time!

    And I love the idea of making fig bread. You’re right, it’s the perfect time of year to bake with dried fruit. These flavors sound wonderful together.

  8. First – this bread looks and sounds simply amazing! Second – how lucky are you to be heading to NOLA! You are going to have such a great time. Have a beignet and chickory coffee for me. Always wanted to go there and will be heading there in a few months!

  9. We have a fig tree in the backyard…this recipe looks great. And I’m stopping by to let you know that we are rooting for SF at our house! Go 9ers. And I’m so proud of you to get your kitchen painted! That’s what I need to do!!! But…. Anyway, this bread looks great and sounds delish!

  10. Patty this bread looks packed full of goodness and the homemade preserves is just perfect with it!

  11. Wow Patty, this fig and almond bread looks great…I like the combination of the sweet figs, kind of gooey and the slightly crunchy almond…yum…I should would love a slice of this bread with my morning coffee.
    Enjoy New Orleans :)

  12. Patty, oh I’m so jealous of your Bay Area winter. Today was so gloomy and dark here in Toronto. By the way, good luck and congrats on SF 49ers in the play offs! So what are you bringing to to press box this time? Should be something grand! :)

    Yummy, I really like the interesting flavours going on this bread. So fruity, fresh, nutty…oh, the fireworks of flavours…!

  13. This looks so beautiful!
    R

  14. Such a beautiful quick bread! I love it loaded with my favourite fruit!

  15. Stunning. This is a head turner, Patty! You know how much I adore figs, so I am definitely going to try this! Beautifully photographed!

  16. Oh my! Another beautiful bread recipe. I just saw Angie’s gorgeous date and hazelnut bread and now this one. I see lots of delicious bread in my future :)

  17. Forgot to say have a great time at the game. I hope the 49ers win since they beat our Packers ;)

  18. What a lovely combination of flavours!

  19. This is just lovely

  20. Patty…I just love figs….fresh or dried or preserved! And this bread is just beautiful! I bet the fennel seeds added a nice fragrant and fresh touch! Looking forward to the scones!

  21. Oh Patty…everything about this bread is absolutely perfect! Love it!!!

  22. Of course you are going to the game, I would be surprised if you did not. Yes, there are so many good places to eat (and a few touristy bad too) and unfortunately the city will be packed… One place you have to go in Dickie Brennan’s place – Mr. B’s Bistro – the BBQ shrimp are legendary but a must are the crab cakes… it is so worth the wait…. go for early lunch or mid afternoon, better yet, go ahead now and make reservations… Tracy and Gwen both have good suggestions on their sites….
    oh, yes, I enjoyed your recipe too, nothing better than a fresh loaf of nut bread and this one is chocked full of flavors, love the fig in here… Have fun and most important, go 49′ers

  23. Fig bread is one of my favorites Patty! Adding fennel and almonds seems like a splendid idea. It really looks so delicious that it’s making me want to have some right now. :-)

  24. I had come over and drooled at this but came back again to leave a comment! So wonderful it looks Patty! I always leave hungry after visiting you!
    Have fun at the game and YES wear those boots!

  25. I love the look and sound of this bread.

  26. Personally I love figs in sweets than eating them fresh. This bread looks so good and you generously put ingredients – that’s how I like it too! I wish I have this for my tea right now. It’ll be a perfect match!

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