I am fortunate to have a fig tree and to live in the perfect Mediterranean climate for it to thrive. That means that I will also have an overabundance of the tasty fruits just begging to be enjoyed.
When I say an overabundance, I’m not joking. I will end the fig season with several large containers of frozen figs, and gallon bags full of dried figs. This is after all the figs we ate fresh, put into fruit leathers, baked into cakes, etc. So, yes, an overabundance!
Much of my dried fig stash ends up in school lunches for the boys and nibbled on as snacks for camping and hiking. But they are also the perfect addition to all sorts of baked goodies. Basically, think of them as extra large raisins and you now have an idea as to how versatile they can be!
Even though quick breads are not a Greek thing in any way (they are actually an American invention), this recipe combines all sorts of Greek flavors. Figs are abundant in Greece, and they pair perfectly with Greek yogurt and honey on any day of the week, anyway. Put them all together, and you have a tasty bread perfect for a healthy breakfast or light snack throughout the day!
Fig & Greek Yogurt Quick Bread Recipe
The pictures show a double recipe. Hey, in for a penny, in for a pound!
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup whole milk (I make my own yogurt and strain it until it is nearly the thickness of cream cheese which means needing more milk to thin the batter, most commercial Greek yogurt will be the consistency of sour cream and so less milk will be needed)
- 10 ounces dried figs, chopped
- 1/4 cup salted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin preferred
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you could substitute 1 cup all purpose flour mixed with 1 cup whole wheat flour)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat the milk in a small, covered sauce pot until just beginning to foam. Use the amount of milk suitable for the thickness of your Greek yogurt. Remove from heat, add the figs, and cover the pot. Let sit for five minutes to allow the figs to soften, then add the butter and stir until it is all melted. Add the honey and oil, cover the pot and set it aside to allow it to cool. By the way, the figs may cause the milk to curdle a little, don’t worry about it!
In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon). I measure flour by fluffing it up with a whisk then gently scooping it into the measuring cup. Set the bowl aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch bread pan and set aside.
In a large bowl beat the eggs until foamy. Beat in the yogurt until completely combined. Add in the milk and fig mixture and stir until all ingredients are mixed together. Add the dry ingredients and walnuts, then stir gently only until just combined. Don’t over mix or you will cause the gluten in the flour to toughen the bread. The mixture will be thick.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf can come out clean. Allow the bread to rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool on a rack.
Now, you know the rules. You’re supposed to wrap this up in plastic when it’s completely cool and wait until the next day for the best flavor. You will be forgiven if you are a little impatient, but you still need to let it cool before you cut, or your bread will dry out and get crumbly. Then you can enjoy!