This dried fig bread recipe is also known as trail mix bread. It’s chock full of goodness: toasty sunflower seeds, crunchy pecans, and of course, chewy mission figs.
Baking Whole Grain Bread
The trail mix bread includes whole wheat flour and bread flour. One thing to know about baking with whole grain flours is they are a bit thirsty. Whole grain flours add extra nutrition and texture too.
The bread flour has a higher protein count than an all-purpose flour and that helps build the structure for the bread. You’ll see in the recipe below that we start with 1 3/4 cups of bread flour, but have a note that you can add up to 1/2 cup more, in increments of 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough doesn’t detach easily from the walls of your stand mixer bowl.
You can substitute all-purpose flour for the bread flour but the resulting loaf will be a little shorter and denser.
Nuts, Seeds, and Figs, Oh My
What are your favorite mix-ins for trail mix? This dried fig bread recipe gets its name from incorporating a few of those ingredients in one tasty loaf of bread.
For the sunflowers, we prefer using unsalted—they add a nubby bite and make a nice counterpoint to the molasses-sweetened brown bread.
It’s an extra step, but toasting the pecans before kneading them into the bread is a small thing to amplify the final flavor.
We like to use Mission Figs in the dried fig bread for its jammy, familiar sweetness, but you could swap in Golden Figs if you want a delicate sweetness and they’re also slightly nutty, which complements the pecans and sunflower seeds too.
A Tad Sweet
The dried fig bread recipe uses molasses—this bolsters the warm brown crumb of the bread, adds a smidge of sweetness, and also adds nutrition.
Bread Baking Season
Trust us when we say that even as the bread is proofing and going through its final rise, it will smell great! If it’s warm in your house, you might find that proofing on the counter can go according to the time clock in the recipe. Try one of our tricks below to help the rise along if your kitchen is cold:
Tip 1: Proof the covered bowl of dough in an unheated oven. Turn the oven light on.
Tip 2: Place the dough into an Instant Pot and turn it to the Yogurt function to proof for 1 hour.
Tip 3: Microwave a cup of water until steaming. Place the covered bowl into the microwave and shut the door, proofing for 1 hour.
Trail Mix Dried Fig Bread Recipe
- 1 cup warm whole milk 110°F
- 1/3 cup warm water 110°F
- 1/4 cup light molasses
- 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 cups bread flour (plus more as needed—see instruction)
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast instant or rapid-rise
- 2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup pecans toasted and chopped coarse
- 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds toasted
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and chopped into 1/4" pieces
- Whisk the milk, water, molasses, and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 1 3/4 cups of the bread flour, whole-wheat flour, yeast, and salt in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If after 4 minutes more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/2 cup of bread flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom. Add the pecans, sunflower seeds and figs and continue to knead until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Spray a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Turn the dough out into a lightly floured counter. Gently press the dough into a 9-inch square, roll into a tight cylinder, and pinch the seam close.
- Place the loaf, seam-side down, in the prepared pan. Spay the loaf lightly with vegetable oil spray, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until the loaf has nearly doubled in size, 45 to 75 minutes. Meanwhile adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush the loaf with the remaining ½ tablespoon melted butter, then spray lightly with water. Bake until the crust is a deep golden brown and the center of the bread register 200 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating the loaf halfway through baking. (If the crust begins to get too dark, tent loosely with aluminum foil.)
- Cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before serving.