Wake and Bake: Fennel Fig Quick Bread
In the winter, my quick bread repertoire too easy falls into the same old banana bread rut. Sure, I might jazz it up with chocolate chips or even some nuts, but at the end of the day I'm always dreaming about the day that blueberries and peaches are back in season. Luckily fate intervened and ended my boredom, specifically by throwing a bag of figs at my face.
You see, my freezer is a wee bit over-stuffed. I have enough half finished bags of add-ins (a half-bag of chocolate chips, a handful of candied ginger, three types of coconut flakes—totally normal, right?) to last me for months. When I opened the freezer door to retrieve a container of veggie chili I was sure was buried somewhere back there, a bag of half finished Calimyrna figs came flying at my head.
Figs and fennel are, in my opinion, a delicious yet underused combination. To continue the Mediterranean theme, I used a fruity olive oil as the fat in this quick bread.
This bread is a savory-sweet hybrid, though I mean it as an amalgam of the two rather than salty-sweet like a chocolate covered pretzel. The figs add a deep fruity sweetness, and the fennel seeds add a mellow licorice flavor. As for texture, this is a little drier than many quick breads— which I personally find refreshing after one too many banana breads that were so oily I could have wrung them out and used the oil for a stir fry.
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About the author: Carrie Vasios is the Community Manager of Serious Eats and writes the Wake and Bake, Cookie Monster, and Serious Entertaining columns. She likes perusing her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar.