Whole wheat bread is studded with figs and walnuts in this easy-to-make loaf with no kneading required! This fig and walnut bread is perfectly festive to enjoy for the holidays or skip the addons for plain whole wheat bread all year long.
This recipe was originally published in December 2019. It has been updated for content, photos, and video.
A delicious vegan whole wheat bread you can whip up with just a few pantry staples.
This fig and walnut bread is not only delicious, but it’s perfectly festive too! It’s great for the holidays or any time of year when you’re craving freshly baked bread.
Serve it with stew, or use it to make a chickpea salad sandwich.
Why you’ll love it
- Healthier than store-bought bread. Most store-bought bread is filled with preservatives and often unpronounceable ingredients, whether it’s white bread, multigrain, or otherwise. Our homemade version is free from all the artificial stuff that allows you to keep it on your counter for weeks without spoiling.
- Control the ingredients. There’s nothing better than having FULL control over the ingredients of a recipe. Make it suitable for your diet. It’s already vegan and vegetarian friendly with no egg or dairy. For nut-free, just omit the walnuts, or sub with pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
- Whole wheat flour makes this homemade bread wholesome and nutrient-dense compared to white bread. It also keeps it free from refined ingredients. Whole wheat flour contains more fiber since it has not been stripped of its nutrients during the refining process of white flour.
- EASY! This vegan whole-wheat bread recipe is super simple to make! There’s no kneading required, no resting for hours, and no complicated steps. This no knead bread is ready in no time!
- Delicious!! This fig and walnut bread is so tasty! With hints of sweetness from fig pieces throughout and a little crunch and texture from the walnuts.
Ingredients + Substitutions
Here’s what you’ll need to make our fig and walnut bread.
- Flour: Use whole wheat to keep this bread free from refined ingredients, and suitable for a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet.
- Instant yeast: This makes the bread quick-rising and easy to prepare. (No need to rest for several hours before baking).
- Maple syrup: I chose maple syrup to keep this bread refined sugar-free. You may choose another sweetener if you prefer. Date syrup or agave syrup would also work.
- Warm water: The water MUST be warm to help activate the yeast, so don’t use cold water.
- Figs and walnuts: Dried figs and chopped walnuts add sweetness, crunch, and texture. But this bread works amazingly well without these ingredients too. Or try it with raisins, dried cranberries, or any other dried fruit you like.
- NOTE: Fresh figs may also work, but I haven’t specifically tested it this way.
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl: flour, salt, and instant yeast. Stir to combine. (photo 1)
Then, add the maple syrup to the bowl of warm water and mix to dissolve. (photo 2)
NOTE: Make sure to use warm water, NOT cold. You need warm water to activate the yeast.
Add the sweetened water to the bowl of dry ingredients with the yeast mixture and stir. Then fold in the figs and walnuts. (photo 3)
Transfer the batter to a prepared loaf pan and gently spread it to the edges. Cover with plastic or a kitchen towel and let the dough rise. (photo 4)
After resting for 20 minutes, the bread will reach the top of the loaf pan as shown above. (photo 5)
Bake your fig and walnut bread for 40 minutes and remove it from the oven. (photo 6)
NOTE: If the bread has not risen quite as high as mine above, leave it an extra few minutes, for up to 25 minutes total BEFORE baking.
Let the loaf rest out of the oven for 5-10 minutes, and then use the parchment paper to lift the loaf out of the pan and place it on a wire rack to continue cooling.
Once cooled, slice and serve.
Like most homemade bread recipes, this fig and walnut bread tastes best when freshly made.
However, you may keep it covered, at room temperature for 3-4 days.
On the third and fourth days, this bread makes excellent toast.
To freeze, make sure the bread is completely cooled to room temperature first. Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and place it in a freezer-safe airtight container. You want to keep air away from the bread in your freezer to prevent freezer burn.
How to use it
Consider any of your favourite toppings, like butter and nut butter.
Peanut butter, almond butter, walnut butter, and pecan butter are all delicious choices.
Try it with smashed avocado, sprinkled hemp hearts and salt and pepper for something savoury.
Or use our blueberry chia jam, strawberry jam, or apple butter for something sweet.
- Weigh your flour for the best results. Flour volume will vary depending on measuring methods, such as the scoop and sweep, vs spooning your flour into the measuring cup. Use a kitchen scale for the most accurate flour measurement.
- Make sure to use warm water to mix with the maple syrup, and NOT cold. You need warm water to activate the yeast.
- DO NOT KNEAD the dough. Mix until no floury bits remain, without overmixing.
- When the bread reaches the top of the loaf pan, it’s ready to bake. Don’t let the bread rise above the loaf pan edges or you’ll end up with a muffin top. This normally takes 20 minutes, but if it’s not quite there yet, leave it for an additional 5 minutes.
More amazing festive recipes
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- 520 grams whole wheat flour approx 4 cups
- 8 grams packet instant yeast approx 2 ¼ tsp
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or other sweetener like date or agave syrup
- 2 cups warm water
- ½ cup dried figs packed (approx 6-7 figs, chopped into small pieces)
- ½ cup walnut pieces packed
- Line a 5-inch x 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Add the flour, instant yeast, and salt to a large bowl and mix well.
- Then add the maple syrup to a bowl of warm water and mix to dissolve. Then pour the water into your bowl of flour and mix using a silicone spatula, without overmixing, and DO NOT KNEAD.
- Fold in the chopped figs and walnut pieces and then transfer the dough to your prepared loaf pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes. It will rise to approximately double its size, and the bread will reach the top of your loaf pan. (see notes)
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C and then bake your risen fig and walnut bread for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing.
I’ve made this bread several times in the past but forgot about it!! Thanks so much for the reminder email Rosa!!! I’ll be making 2 loaves for Christmas because everyone in my family absolutely loves it! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Aww so glad you’ve enjoyed the bread recipe. Thanks for the kind review Sandra and Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. 🙂
I need to know if I can leave out th salt or lower it a lot. I’m on low sodium diet due to high blood pressure.
Hi Julia, you may reduce to a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, as I’ve tested it that way. I haven’t tested with anything less but bread does require some salt in order to activate the yeast and rise properly. If you’re willing to experiment, you may try with even less, but I can’t guarantee the same results.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. So easy to make. I make it every week. I add only figs.
You’re very welcome Adenike. Thrilled you’re enjoying it. 🙂
Could I substitute dates for the figs in this recipe?
Hi Diane, yes that’ll work.
I made this today, as written, and it is soooo good lightly toasted, with a little almond butter. Thanks for a great recipe! 😋
So happy you enjoyed Amanda. Thanks so much for the lovely review. 🙂
Dr. Debora Tallio
This bread is absolutely delicious. I did not have regular whole wheat flour so used white whole wheat. It is perfectly sweet, great texture, and could not have been easier to make. Thank you!!
Thrilled you enjoyed Debora. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
The best bread. Not too sweet, but rather full of flavor. I wasn’t sure if id like the fig/walnut combo….oh my, its my favorite.
Thanks for sharing Deborah! So glad you enjoyed. 🙂
The bread turned out beautifully, great texture too. So quick to make! I subbed 1/2 c dried cranberries and 1/2 cup sliced almonds and it’s delicious.
Thrilled you enjoyed Vanessa! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback and substitutions, that sounds great!
I am so excited! I can tell this recipe is going to be a very good one.
I ran out of bananas 2-1/2 months ago. No figs, but when you said omit the figs, I got excited.
Thank you so much. I will report back. 🙂
Take good carer of you and yours…
Thanks Laura, looking forward to your feedback, enjoy!