whole wheat molasses yogurt bread with fig and walnuts


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

whole wheat molasses yogurt bread with fig and walnuts | A Brown Table

It starts with a swirl. Dark brown circular lines that slowly give way to bright golden yellow rings of pure sweetness. A part of me was tempted to blend it in a little more while the other part of my mind knew this would only be a fleeting moment. It eventually would morph into a deep toffee like color as the molasses mixes into the white yogurt. Molasses are delicious and if you ever get a chance to watch them being made, they can even become fascinating. Mix this sweetened yogurt with figs, walnuts and some flour, you’ll end up with a loaf of bread that’s full of rich flavor and color. This is one delicious soda bread recipe that Marian Bull shared in Food52’s latest cookbook on Baking!

And if you feel like experimenting a little, fold in some freshly cracked black pepper and the figs and walnuts will take on a whole new level of flavor.

Today, I’m giving away a copy of this book and believe me when I say, you will LOVE this book for the easy instructions and fool-proof tips and of course, unique recipes that will pique your interest. From a spice cake made with tomato soup to brown butter cupcake brownies, you get my drift.

The contest is open to readers who are legal residents of the U.S. and Canada only. To enter to win, all you need to do is leave a comment below to tell me what is the one thing you’ve always wanted to bake but haven’t yet tried to. The contest will start on Tuesday, September 22st 2015 at 9am EST and end on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 at 9am. The winner will be announced after the 29th and will be notified by email. Good luck! 

whole wheat molasses yogurt bread with fig and walnuts | A Brown Table

whole wheat molasses yogurt bread with fig and walnuts | A Brown Table

whole wheat molasses yogurt bread with fig and walnuts | A Brown Table

whole wheat molasses yogurt bread with fig and walnuts | A Brown Table

whole wheat molasses yogurt bread with fig and walnuts | A Brown Table

Here are some kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this bread,

  • The dough is pretty heavy and dense. So don’t be nervous, the baking soda will help it rise and get airy once it bakes in the oven. 
  • You can spice this bread up a little bit just as I did with the black pepper. However, I don’t recommend overdoing it and making it too complex as you more intense spices can mask the flavor of the main ingredients used to make this bread.
  • Stick with whole fat dairy as recommended by Food52 or the bread might end up too dry. 
  • This bread is not very sweet, in fact I love it for this very reason. The molasses give a very gentle hint of sweetness but an intense golden brown color. Most of the sweetness you will taste is from the figs baked into the bread. 
  • I ate this bread with salted butter. You can melt some brie over a slice or lather it with some fig butter or jam. You get the point, here. There are several different ways you can enjoy a slice!

whole wheat molasses yogurt bread with fig and walnuts | A Brown Table

whole wheat molasses yogurt bread with fig and walnuts (from Food52: Baking cookbook)

yields: 1 loaf


2 1/2 cups (300gm) whole wheat pastry flour or

1 1/2 cups (210gm) white whole wheat flour + 3/4 cup (100g) rye flour

1/2 cup (80g) medium or coarse-grind cornmeal

1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground (optional)

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 2/3 cups (395mL) whole milk yogurt or

1 1/2 cups (355mL) whole milk plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar

1/2 cup (120mL) dark molasses

1 cup (100gm) toasted walnuts, chopped

3/4 cup (105gm) dried figs, chopped

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

1. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat the oven to 325F. If using milk rather than yogurt, mix it with vinegar.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour cornmeal, salt and baking soda

3. Separately, whisk together the yogurt and molasses. Add to the flour mixture in two or three additions, stirring in round, sweeping motions and making sure to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl; mix until just a few small pockets of flour remain. The dough will be quite thick. Now fold in the walnuts and figs. 

4. Melt the butter in a standard loaf pan or a 7 inch cast-iron skillet and put it into the oven until the butter melts. Tilt and swirl the pan to coat it evenly. Gently transfer the batter to the buttered pan without mixing it any further. The dough will be sticky and heavy.

5. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. The bread will be golden brown in color when done and is ready when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and the the top should be slightly firm but soft to touch.

6. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove the loaf and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Wrap leftovers tightly in foil and eat within 3 to 4 days. 

82 Responses

  1. Your bread looks fantastic. All goodness of yogurt, figs and walnuts in a single loaf. Love that it’s a non-yeast bread.
    Thrilled at this giveaway. I would love to make croissants and it seems like that’s been on my mind forever and yet I haven’t baked!

  2. I’ll have to say this bread is something I would want to bake. I love bread but have yet had the courage to make it. A simple white loaf aside this would definitely be bucket list wish.

  3. That bread looks amazing! One thing I’ve always wanted to bake is a souffle. I haven’t had a nice oven to try it out with, so I’m hoping this changes soon!

  4. Cinnamon bread- I want to bake a cinnamon raisin yeast bread but have had poor luck in the past…this is on my baking bucket list!!!

  5. Love the art of photography you bring to cooking!!!
    For the contest, I would say that I have always wanted to make Challah bread, but never attempted.
    I think I have always been intimidated. After making it, I would probably want to make french toast out of it.

  6. Your bread looks awesome! I’ve always wanted to try my hand at baking croissants or anything laminated really but haven’t yet.

  7. The photography is absolutely beautiful. I love reading your blog and am so excited for this giveaway. 😍

    I really want to make a yeasted, crusty bread. I can’t quite build up the nerve to make one myself.

  8. You could not have asked a more appropriate question! It’s something that had been on my mind for a while. I’ve always wanted to make a good yeasty bread, but I am terrified of working with yeast. It seems to be so simple and yet… I don’t know why I feel it’s so sensitive. I hope one day I can take on that challenge!

  9. Hmmm that’s a very good question! Up until a few months ago there were plenty of things I always wanted to bake but I finally got those done and conquered (kind of), yay! Haha. I’ve baked plenty of yeast breads but I’ve never tried making Challah yet…so yes, need to get on that asap.

  10. Your photos and description of this loaf are beautiful – love that it is simple and not too sweet, and the combination of molasses, yogurt, fig and walnuts sound perfect for autumn and a morning or afternoon tea snack with coffee. The food52 baking book sounds like a winner too!

  11. These recipes sound amazing. I have yet to try baking scones, but you may have inspired me to venture out. Thank you for the ideas! And for the giveaway… Yum!

  12. I have recently started dabbling with pie crust and bread mixtures…I have never tried making pasta from scratch…what am I waiting for, I hear it’s pretty darn easy…you make everything look easy and delicious!

  13. What a gorgeous loaf! And thanks for including kitchen tips, always helpful to read 🙂
    I have always wanted to make cheesecake but never gotten around to it…

  14. I’m TERRIFIED of making puff pastry, but want to make croissants and other puff pastry based goodies in the worst way. Hoping this book will take all my fears away. Thank you for writing it.

  15. The bread looks fabulous and I have figs and walnuts and molasses! I make bread but I’ve so far been too intimidated to try French baguettes.

  16. I love to bake and can’t wait to try this recipe, the picture is making me drool.
    I have been baking forever, my rule is try it once as written and then make the
    changes you would like the next time.
    One recipe I have not tried and would like to…………that is a tough question,
    I think it is blueberry slab pie. It always looks delicious, but I have never made one, oh well
    there is always tomorrow!

  17. Could you use a non dairy yogurt like soy? I think a baked Alaska would be fun. Not sure how the ice cream does not melt.

  18. This bread looks terrific, it seems like I can smell the " deliciousness" from those beautiful photos. One thing I have never made is souffle’……thank you.

  19. Baklava would be a interest to me! A neighbor would make it once a year…many years ago. Through all of our moves over the years, that sweet ,sticky, yummy deliciousness at Greek Easter time would come to mind. I love to bake for family and friends and would thoroughly enjoy your book. Good Luck to everyone! Thanks.

  20. I would love to bake a pistachio cake…but have been too lazy to track down the pistachio paste needed. Kind of embarrassing!

  21. This bread looks incredible, especially at the start of a new season! I’m more of a cook, myself, so baking and experimenting with a new cookbook would be fantastic! I’d love to create a beautiful "naked cake", perhaps with dark chocolate and raspberry flavors. You can never go wrong with that combo!

  22. This bread looks wonderful!! I can’t wait try it out. I want to learn make croissants but am rather intimidated them.

  23. Monkey bread! Specifically, the "Monkey (Ginger)Bread" on food52 — waiting for the right special occasion to try it…

  24. While your toffee colored bread is being baked in my oven in beirut (it smells delicious in my house right now!), i am debating what i dream of baking and have not tried yet… i am curious of nature and bake a lot these days. But the one thing i would love to learn to do correctly is english scones, big tasty scones! thank you for your beautiful recipe today; canbot wait to taste mine. 🙂

  25. Stunning photos make me want to attempt this loaf immediately! I have always wanted to bake a dense, crusty Italian bread with olives scattered throughout.

  26. I am a 16 year old who absolutely adores baking. I bake every week, but I’ve never worked with yeast and I’d love to make cinnamon rolls. Maybe even pumpkin-flavored ones for the upcoming fall season.
    P.S. Please don’t kick me out of the giveaway because of my age. Thanks!

  27. There has always been something mysterious about working with pastery that keeps me from giving it a try. Milles feuilles would be a fun one to try.

  28. I’ve always wanted to bake my own sandwich bread. It is pretty intimidating because I want it to be perfect. I know that I need to lower my standards to start off in hopes of perfecting it over time, sooner than later!

  29. This looks like an awesome recipe! I have a recipe for molasses bread that you bake in water bath, very dense bread, I make it with Boston baked beans.

  30. !!!

    This bread looks so delicious

    I’ve been wanting to make kouignamann. I saw this in a baking cookbook from a bakery. And from the pictures and description, I have been dying to get a taste of this buttery, flaky, and sugary goodness, but couldn’t find this beautiful pastry anywhere near me. So I want to make it so my friends and I can all try it!

  31. !!

    Wow, that looks delightful.

    I’ve been wanting to make kouignamann. I saw this in a baking cookbook from a bakery. And from the pictures and description, I have been dying to get a taste of this buttery, flaky, and sugary goodness, but couldn’t find this beautiful pastry anywhere near me. So I want to make it so my friends and I can all try it!

  32. Thanks for the recipe! It looks great. I would love to make some Asian milk bread but the Tangzhong method sounds so complicated!

  33. This bread looks delicious! I think I will give it a try this weekend. Macarons! I’ve yet to try that. Love to eat it, but they seem so difficult to master.

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