The Modern Baker Challenge: Quick Breads – Fennel Fig & Almond Bread

This is actually the first “bread” in Nick Malgieri’s book “The Modern Baker”, the book that inspired Phyl to come up with the Modern Baker Challenge. We as a group will bake our way through this book, but every recipe has an official blogger, so we don’t have to tackle each and every recipe.

My official submission for the quick breads section were the cocoa banana muffins, but of course this mustn’t be the only quick bread I bake from this section. So here’s another one, which my friend Sara claimed to be her official submission – Fennel Fig & Almond Bread. She has a brand-new baby boy at home and from what I can tell from the pictures I’ve seen so far, he is super cute and adorable ;-). I’m deviating from the topic now…

Anyway, so I decided to make this bread though neither fennel nor figs really sound really appealing to me. But I recently made a Middle Eastern dish with rabbit and figs which was actually quite good, and I still had some figs left, and there were also fennel seeds in my cupboard which despite my dislike of fennel I had bought for some other dish, so I thought I could as well make this bread. Hmm…

As is characteristic of quick breads, putting everything together was really easy and quick (go figure!), the smell from the oven was not too bad and crust and crumb were really nice. Will I make this bread again? Hell no! The hubby and 3 kids REALLY disliked this bread. My 4-year old son said it tasted like “sickness tea” – this was really funny, because fennel tea is  a common remedy for stomach problems. I wonder how he knows because I’ve never served them fennel tea! I, surprisingly, thought the bread was ok. Not good, but ok…

You have to know that we ate the banana bread with chocolate chips which has about the same size as the fennel fig bread in one (!) session 2 days or so earlier, whereas there was more than a half loaf left of the latter one.  And that day, my mother and her husband came over for Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) – you probably have figured out by now how much we liked it, no? Well, my mother was not too shocked when I gave her the leftovers to take home.  At least not as long as she was in sight ;-).

Check out some fellow Modern Bakers’ posts on Fennel Fig & Almond Bread (this will be updated regularly):

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9 responses to “The Modern Baker Challenge: Quick Breads – Fennel Fig & Almond Bread

  1. Sorry it wasn’t your favorite, but props to you for even trying it, given your lack of affection for both figs and fennel. I was similarly lukewarm about the Whole Wheat Currant Bread, but I made it anyway and was pleasantly surprised. Blog to follow….

  2. Haha, your reaction to this bread made me laugh! (And reaffirmed my decision to skip this one!) But good for you for trying it anyway! =)

  3. I was also skeptical about that combination of flavors, but it worked for us. I cut it into thin slices (sort of hard to do), spread a little cream cheese between two slices, grilled them, and cut them into “fingers” and they literally disappeared off the plate. Your bread look gorgeous, inside and out.

  4. how can you go wrong with this combination

  5. I am also reassured that I am skipping this one. The thought of fennel and figs together just really didn’t sound appealing to me. I don’t mind figs, but am not a fan of fennel at all. I cant wait to try the other ones though. You know I’m all about weekend baking and cooking! Hope you had a good week. From the post it looks like you guys at least ate really well :-)

  6. Oooh i love making breads, yours looks delicious, great job :D

  7. This proves again how different tastes are and that it’s a good thing to try. We loved this bread in fact I would say it’s the best of the 4 so far. Sad to hear you did not like it but quite happy that there are so many different tastes out there because what would the world be like if we did all liked the same. Pretty monotone and boring.

  8. So interesting about the “sickness tea”. I really like the taste of fennel, but have rarely used it before now. I think it’s delicious in spaghetti sauce. Sorry, it was a flop for the family. I didn’t like the figs in it.

  9. Pingback: The Modern Baker Challenge – Devil’s Food Cake | Family & Food & Other Things

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