Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Maple Walnut and Fig Bread ~ Chelsea Market, NYC

Maple Walnut and Fig Bread from Amy’s Bread Cookbook
One of my favorite places to go, when I’m in NYC, is Chelsea Market. It happens to be a must see for any foodie visiting Manhattan. "It originally housed the Nabisco Company back in 1912. In1997 it evolved from a bakery landmark to a foodie’s mecca.” It houses the likes of Sarabeth’s, Eleni’s, Buon Italia, Bowery Kitchen Supplies and is also where I first discovered Amy’s Bread! Did I mention that the Food Network headquarters is upstairs? It is where the Iron Chef is filmed, as well as several of their other shows. A few years ago I attended an Emeril taping there.

This bread is loaded with figs, and walnuts
The first time I visited the market, was when my daughter was in college at Cooper Union.  I went for a weekend visit, and she brought me to this amazing place. It looked like an old factory, but had so much charm. It was still relatively unknown, and not yet on the tourist radar. It was my introduction to Amy’s Bread, still one of my favorite bakeries. The shelves were lined with the most wonderful rustic breads.  I bought a few small loaves to enjoy back at my daughters place. They were amazing!  Since 1992, Amy’s Bread has been baking and selling the most delicious rustic breads, and enjoys a reputation for quality and variety.  Amy has been recognized several times for her excellence in baking, most recently as one of the 10 Best Bread Bakers in America by Dessert Professional Magazine. She has published two wonderful cookbooks. One of which, is where I found the recipe I’m sharing with you today.  It’s a quick bread that is filled with walnuts and figs. Absolutely delectable! So if you happen to be in NYC, check out Chelsea Market, you won’t regret it.  But if NYC is not on your radar, you can still bake this wonderful bread! I hope you do!

Welcome to Chelsea Market, a foodies paradise 
One of my favorite bakeries
Some of Amy’s wonderful bread
And more bread
A peak inside Chelsea Market…note the great old architecture 
Sarabeth’s Bakery

Buon Italia….filled with the most wonderful Italian imports
Just one small section in Buon Italia 
This store has been there since my first visit, and will overwhelm you with all  it’s wonderful kitchen supplies
A small section inside Bowery Kitchen Supplies
Maple Walnut and Fig Bread…just out of the oven…wish I could share the aroma!

My tasters really loved this bread. The flavor of the Maple syrup gave it a lovely unique sweetness .  

Maple Walnut and Fig Bread
Recipe courtesy of Amy Sherber from her book Amy's Bread

Level: Easy
Makes 2 ~ 9x5 inch loaves

1 3/4 cups (10 1/2 ounces) dried figs, diced
1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water (85 degrees to 90 degrees F)
2 2/3 cups (12 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups (6 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 3/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/3 cups (11 ounces) maple syrup
1 1/3 cups (11 ounces) milk
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (6 ounces) canola oil
2 cups (8 ounces) walnut pieces, toasted
Additional maple syrup for glazing

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the diced figs in a medium bowl and add the warm water. Let soak until softened.

Whisk the unbleached flour, cake flour, oats, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Put the maple syrup, milk, eggs, egg yolks, and canola oil in a medium bowl and stir with the whisk to combine. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring with a spoon just until all the flour is moistened. This should be a wet batter, because the oats absorb a lot of the liquid during baking.

Fold the walnuts and figs into the batter (the figs do not need to be drained). Divide the batter evenly between two oiled 9- by 5-inch loaf pans. Bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If your oven bakes unevenly, rotate the pans from left to right and front to back about halfway through the baking time.)

Remove the pans from the oven and use a pastry brush to glaze the tops of the loaves with maple syrup. Set them on a rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn the loaves out of the pans and set them on the rack to cool completely before serving. Wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. They may also be frozen, wrapped first in aluminum foil and then in plastic wrap or a heavy-duty freezer bag.


  1. Ahhhh, what a wonderful post, Kathy! Now I'd like to go back to NYC and visit all of these places! I've been a few times, but all were before my love affair with baking and decorating began. :)

    I'd love to try the bread soon, too. Looks delicious! I adore sweet bread.

  2. Dear Kathy, This is like a "Disneyland" for food lovers!
    The bread looks wonderful. I would love to share a piece with a good cup of coffee.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  3. Great post, Kathy! Brings back so many memories of our afternoon there! And the bread looks perfect!

  4. This is a lovely quick bread, Kathy. I love the combination of flavours.

  5. I love this fig bread! and love the pictures!!!!

  6. i am a bread lover too... i love to have that for breakfast.

  7. Chelsea Market is such a great place, whenever I'm in the neighborhood I have to stop by and pick something up!

  8. Oh I can almost smell Italian NYC from here, it looks so awesome :D
    And delicious looking bread!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. This is so lovely, the place looks great, I wish I'll get to visit NY soon. The bread is awesome and I can substitute figs with dates.

  10. The Chelsea Market sounds wonderful. I need to go there some day. Love the bread. It looks delicious. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures:)

  11. I LOVE Chelsea Market (could practically live there) but really don't get over there as often as I'd like!! I really should change that...there is so much good food there that needs to be eaten (by me). This bread looks so good. I have that cookbook and have yet to bake from it!

  12. Kathy - I just recently had my first visit to the Chelsea Market and it was love at first sight and bite! I didn't get to Amy's Bread (next visit for sure!) buy loved Buon Italia and the chocolate place - was it Jacques Torres' place? Your bread looks terrific - I love breads like this! ~ David

  13. What a great destination! The bread looks delicious and I love that it's sweetened with maple syrup--isn't it nice she shares recipes!

  14. I'm adding this recipe to my list of things to bake and Chelsea Market to my list of places to go! Glad you are in Florida Kathy!!!