|Delicious Fennel Fig & Almond Bread|
Figs have always been a favorite of mine. Fresh, with a drizzle of honey are the best, or served on a platter with cheese. However, when fresh is not available, dried is the next best thing. I always have a container or two or three in my pantry.
Several months ago, I was shopping at Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite stores, they had just put out containers of mission figs. Since I am a figaholic, if there is such a thing, I picked up a few containers! I use dried figs to make fig conserve (a Lebanese treat that my grandmother used to make…kind of like a jam). I also use them in breads, cookies, cakes, and of course, I just eat them right out of the container. When I brought my figs home, I realized I already had two packages of figs in my pantry. That’s a lot of figs!
The holidays came and went, and I forgot about all those figs sitting there! Then I saw this luscious looking Fennel Fig bread by Nick Malgieri on Patty’s Food. She has a great blog, with gorgeous photos and baked goods! I was inspired!! So, with a little inspiration from Patty, and all those figs sitting in my pantry, I grabbed my copy of Modern Baker and made Nick’s Fennel Fig and Almond Bread. I used Anise seed in place of the fennel, as they have a similar flavor. Since I use anise in my fig conserve, I knew the flavor worked well with figs! I was right! This bread was wonderful! Moist, fruity and delectable. I was not surprised! I’ve never made a recipe by Nick that disappointed me!!
|The aroma of this bread was fabulous|
|It was delicious with my fig jam|
Fennel Fig & Almond Bread
from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri
"This delicious bread was inspired by a fragrant golden raisin, fennel, and cornmeal bread created by my friend Amy Scherber, owner of Amy's Bread in New York City."
Makes one 9x5x3 loaf, 12 to 16 slices
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned into measuring cup and leveled off)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed (I used Anise)
6 TBSP (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups (8 to 9 oz) stemmed and diced white or black dried figs
1 cup (about 4 oz) slivered almonds, lightly toasted
One 9x5x3 loaf pan, buttered and the bottom lined with a rectangle of parchment or buttered wax paper cut to fit
Set a rack in middle level of oven and preheat to 350°.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and fennel seeds in a medium bowl and stir well to mix.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth, then beat in the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Beat 1/2 the flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture, then gently beat in the milk about 1/3 at a time. Beat in the remaining flour mixture. Use a large rubber spatula to fold in the figs and almonds.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the bread until it is well risen and a toothpick or narrow bladed knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Cool the bread in the pan on rack for 5 minutes, then unmold it and cool it completely on rack. Transfer bread to a platter or cutting board before serving.
Serving: Cut the bread into thin slices and serve with butter or cream cheese.
Storage: Keep the bread under a cake dome or loosely wrapped in plastic wrap on the day it is made. Wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and keep at room temp for up to 3 to 4 days. Freeze for longer storage.