Change up your homemade bread game with this utterly delicious fig and walnut bread, made using whole wheat flour, a few simple ingredients, and no kneading required.
This fig and walnut bread recipe is a perfect bread for Christmas. The figs are festive and sweet and the walnuts add lovely crunchy texture. This Christmas bread recipe will be a lovely addition to your table spread and pairs well with both comforting dishes, and healthy, nutrient dishes, alike.
Is whole wheat bread better than white?
Not always! This will depend on exactly what you’re comparing, of course. Store bought bread, often contains a ton of unpronounceable ingredients, whether it’s whole wheat, multigrain, white, or otherwise.
Homemade bread, on the other hand, typically will not contain the artificial ingredients and preservatives that allow your store bought loaf to sit on the counter for weeks without spoiling. Of course, the individual recipe will determine the level of wholesomeness. But this is at least, something you can have full control over.
This whole wheat bread recipe is made using only seven wholesome ingredients, and free from artificial, refined products. So I’d like to think that yes, in this case, it’s a more nutritious option.
Now to be clear, let’s not confuse nutritious ingredients with number of calories. The calories in whole wheat bread will not necessarily be less than the calories in white bread. Cup for cup, whole wheat flour and white flour contain the same number of calories. However, if you are on a low calorie diet, it’s vital to make nutrient dense choices for those calories that you’re consuming.
The main difference between whole wheat and white, is the nutrients in whole wheat bread. For instance, whole wheat contains much more fiber than white since white flour is stripped of many of its nutrients during the refining process.
What’s in this whole wheat bread recipe?
- Whole wheat flour. I use only whole wheat, not a mixture with white in order to keep this bread refined flour free.
- Instant yeast, to make this a quick rising bread that you can prepare and bake rather quickly.
- Pure maple syrup, or you may use another syrup type sweetener of choice. Date syrup, or agave syrup would also work well here.
- Warm water. Yes, it must be warm to help activate the yeast, so don’t use cold.
- Dried figs
- Chopped walnuts
How to make fig and walnut bread
Start by gathering all your ingredients, then chop your figs and set them aside.
Now combine your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: whole wheat flour, salt, instant yeast. Mix well.
Add the maple syrup into your bowl of warm water and mix to dissolve. Make sure you use warm water, NOT cold. You need warm water to activate the yeast.
Then pour your sweetened water mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients.
Mix well using a large spoon or silicone spatula. Do not knead.
Then add the chopped figs and walnut pieces to your dough and continue mixing until distributed.
Transfer the dough into a prepared loaf pan and gently spread it to the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
See how much the dough rises! It will fluff up to the top of the pan, usually in 20 minutes. If it’s not quite as high as mine below, leave it an extra few minutes, for up to 25 minutes total.
Now bake in your preheated oven for 40 minutes as you enjoy the glorious aroma of fresh bread. There’s really nothing quite like fresh bread baking in the oven.
Once baked, remove from the oven and using the parchment paper, lift the loaf out of the pan and place on a wire rack. Gently pull the parchment paper out from underneath and let your loaf cool before slicing and serving.
How long does fig and walnut bread keep?
Like most homemade bread recipes, this whole wheat bread tastes best when freshly made.
You may keep it covered, at room temperature for 3-4 days. On the third or fourth day, this bread makes excellent toast.
What toppings go well with homemade bread?
Consider your favourite toppings, like butter and nut butters. Peanut butter, almond butter, or pecan butter are all incredible nut butter choices. Smashed avocado with sprinkled hemp hearts, or even some homemade blueberry chia jam would make delicious toppings as well.
- Loaf Pan
- 520 g whole wheat flour approx 4 cups
- 8 g packet instant yeast approx 2 1/4 tsp
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener like date or agave syrup
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup dried figs packed (approx 6-7 figs, chopped into small pieces)
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces packed
- Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with parchment paper, or grease the sides and bottom. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, instant yeast and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Then add the maple syrup to the warm water and mix to dissolve. Now pour the water into your bowl of flour and mix using a large spoon or silicone spatula.
- Once mostly combined, add the chopped figs and walnut pieces and mix to incorporate. Transfer the dough to your prepared loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap, and preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Let your bread sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, at which point your bread will have roughly doubled in size.*
- Bake for 40 minutes and remove from the oven. Let cool on a cooling rack before slicing and serving. Enjoy!