Sprinkling nuts on top of the batter before it bakes, rather than mixing them in, helps concentrate the nut flavor.
1/3 cup hazelnuts
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, stirring once. Turn nuts out onto a towel. Roll up towel; rub off skins. Chop nuts.
Bring orange juice to a boil; pour over figs in a bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Combine sugar, oil, rind, egg, and egg white; stir well with a whisk. Stir into fig mixture.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Add fig mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Really nice and hearty, can't fail bread. The figs keep the bread from being too one note. I agree with an earlier reviewer that there is no need to rub the skins off the nuts most of them fall off on their own anyway. The nuts on top make it very pretty and festive and they stay on even after cutting the bread into slices.
Very tasty, I love the orange flavor. I used two eggs, mixed some chopped dates in with the figs, added 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/8 tsp cloves, and used walnuts on top instead because they are always on hand. With my new convection oven, which I am still getting the hang of, this would probably be done at 350 degrees after 30-35 minutes; at about 37-38 minutes I thought it smelled done and it was getting dark at the corners. Great recipe, I will add to our bread/muffin rotation.