Almond-Fig Breakfast Braid

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Almond-Fig Breakfast Braid

Make your mornings a little brighter with this Almond-Fig Breakfast Braid. This showstopping loaf starts with a sweet, lightly spiced enriched dough that’s then twirled up with a rich, warmly spiced Fig Filling. The aromatic cinnamon, cardamom, almond extract, and citrusy kick of orange juice in the recipe all perfectly complement the honey-like sweetness of Dried Mission Figs from Valley Fig Growers’ Dried Mission Figs, heated and rehydrated to create a juicy, figgy filling. This braided beauty is pure breakfast bliss. Finished with a simple yet stunning drizzle of almond-flavored glaze, this bread delivers a healthy dose of comfort with a sweetly spiced kick.

Valley Fig Growers’ grower-owned cooperative has been packing delicious, nutritious California Figs since 1959. With fertile soil, hot and dry summers, and cool and wet winters, California Figs are unmatched in flavor and nutritional content. Valley Fig Growers’ Dried Figs are always GMO-free, vegan-friendly, and packed with nutrition, offering a convenient, richly flavored way to obtain dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, and health‐promoting antioxidants. Whether enjoyed for their nutritional powerhouse reputation or simply for their sweet, fruity taste, you can count on California Figs to take your baking and snacking to new levels.

Find Valley Fig Growers’ California Dried Mission and Golden Figs in your favorite stores under the brands Orchard Choice, Sun-Maid, and Blue Ribbon or in our store!

Almond-Fig Breakfast Braid
Makes 1 (14-inch) loaf
  • 2½ to 2¾ cups (313 to 344 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons (3.75 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cardamom
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) plus 3 tablespoons (45 grams) whole milk
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) water
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1¼ teaspoons (5 grams) almond extract, divided
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  • Fig Filling (recipe follows)
  • ⅓ cup (38 grams) sliced almonds
  • 1½ cups (180 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 1 cup (125 grams) flour, granulated sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom by hand.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat ⅓ cup (80 grams) milk, ⅓ cup (80 grams) water, butter, and 1 teaspoon (4 grams) almond extract over medium-low heat until butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture; using the paddle attachment, beat at medium-low speed until combined. Add 1 egg (50 grams), and beat until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 1½ cups (188 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, 5 to 7 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook; add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky. Turn out dough onto a very lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Turn out dough onto a very lightly floured surface, and gently press into an 8x6-inch rectangle. Loosely wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14x12-inch rectangle (about ¼ inch thick). Using a small offset spatula, spread Fig Filling on dough, leaving a ½-inch border on both short sides and one long side. Sprinkle with almonds. Starting with long side opposite border, roll up dough, jelly roll style, and pinch seam to seal. Gently shape log to 14 inches and even thickness, if necessary. Place seam side down, making sure seam is off to one side instead of in center. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut in half lengthwise. Turn halves cut side up, and place in an X. Twist top half of X two times; pinch ends, and tuck under. Repeat with bottom half of X. Using your hands, lift and place on prepared pan, making sure to keep cut sides up and ends tucked. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place another baking sheet of the same size under prepared pan (See Note).
  9. In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1 egg (50 grams). Using a pastry brush, brush egg on clean parts of dough twist.
  10. Bake until almonds and top of bread are lightly golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 35 to 40 minutes, loosely covering with foil after 30 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool on pan for 30 minutes.
  11. In another small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons (45 grams) milk, and remaining ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) almond extract. Drizzle onto cooled loaf. Serve at room temperature.
Note: Double panning slows heat conduction allowing the bottom of our bread to maintain a beautiful, lighter golden-brown color. This braid can also be baked on a single baking sheet but may have a deeper golden-brown bottom.

Fig Filling
Makes about 2 cups
  • 1 cup (174 grams) quartered dried Black Mission figs
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) almond extract
  • ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring figs, orange juice, and ¼ cup (60 grams) water to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes.
  2. Transfer figs to the work bowl of a food processor; add brown sugar, almond extract, cinnamon, salt, and cardamom, and process until smooth and a thick paste forms. Pour into a heatproof bowl, and let cool completely.


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