Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fennel Fig & Almond Bread

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

Enjoy!

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

Directions:

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.

26 comments:

  1. A slice of this would be perfect with my Sunday morning coffee :-)

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  2. I´m a figaholic too! And so far, everything I baked from Nick Malgieri hasn´t let me down either. I even use your recipe for fig jam with cointreau. This is a perfect loaf cake for me, just perfect Kathy!

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  3. Yum! Beautiful fennel fig almond bread kathy! Thanks for the very kind mention ;-) I love everything and anything fig related and I've made this bread recipe from Nick Malgieri several times -it's a real keeper as are all his recipes! Please pass the fig jam...

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  4. Oh my is this good! Fennel? ok. I'm in. Great photos too! I'm off to TJs for figs!

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  5. I'm a figaholic too! This sounds amazing, Kathy. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I think I have figs in the fridge. I'll have to check because I want to make this bread this week. (P.S. I love Patty's blog too.)

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  6. So gorgeous! lovely ingredients - I adore figs too - we just bought a fig tree!
    Mary x

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  7. Kathy, I must agree with you on the reliability of Nick Malgieri´s recipes - I love them too and I am just amazed when I look at your fabulous fig bread - certainly looks like you baked a perfect afternoon (or morning) treat to enjoy with a wonderful cup of tea!

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  8. I could become a figaholic for this bread my friend :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  9. What fabulous looking bread - I would gladly have a slice.

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  10. This looks fantastic! I am so intrigued with idea of adding fennel seeds in this quick bread.

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  11. This is a really nice tea loaf Kathy!

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  12. Humm, I never thought of adding fennel to a quick bread like this. I'm going to have to try it.

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  13. Wow, such a great combination !
    Adding fennel is something so unpredictable, but it looks really good !

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  14. What a gorgeous loaf and such a creative combination. I love figs too, and I have no doubt that this bread would go quickly in my house. Thank you for sharing!

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  15. What a fun combination of flavors--it looks delicious!

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  16. It's fun to get inspired by other blogs. Patty inspired you, now you inspired me. GREG

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  17. Kathy, the combination of the figs, fennel, and almonds are incredible, and plus the fact that you used anise, is probably something that I would use...either way, I can only imagine the amazing aroma when it was still warm. Love this delicious bread and the recipe as well! Photos are superb!

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  18. Very aromatic bread Kathy! Dried figs and the fennel must have render a beautiful flavor!

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  19. This bread looks delicious. I love the combinations in this bread -figs, almonds, fennel. Mmm good.

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  20. This looks like something Kathy would bake - fabulous. I didn't know until I read the entire post tonight that you used Anise seed instead of fennel. I love Anise and will do the same thing. My grandpa used to make anise candy every Christmas. It was red, a hard candy and we'd break it up with a hammer. I would give up Fritos for a year if I could find that recipe and duplicate it. While I love figs, I have had an abundance of dates on hand since Christmas. Gifts. But I have finally worked through them (some even made the move with me) so I can move on to figs. Love the thought of this bread, Kathy.

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  21. I bet the figs tasted delicious in this bread!

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  22. Oh my - this bread looks amazing. Between Nick and Patty, this is definitely a winner!

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  23. I love fresh figs too. But I never thought of using them in bread--great idea!

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  24. I love figs too. It really looks delicious!

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