The Good Loaf: Fig, Cranberry and Fennel Seed

, from Issue #107. January, 2023
Photography by Josh Griggs.
The Good Loaf: Fig, Cranberry and Fennel Seed

This is everything you hope a good loaf will be. A tender crumb, packed with flavour and it keeps beautifully right until the last slice.

Makes: 1 loaf


240 grams ground almonds (almond meal)
70 grams soft dried figs, roughly chopped
70 grams soft dried cranberries
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon each ground ginger and cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
5 large eggs
110ml light olive oil
50 grams runny honey (use a flavourful floral or thyme honey)
finely grated zest 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup finely grated zucchini (see Cook’s note)
50 grams whole roasted almonds, roughly chopped

Equipment: Grease a 5-cup-capacity loaf tin and fully line with baking paper.


Preheat the oven to 160°C regular bake.

Combine the ground almonds, figs, cranberries, baking soda, fennel seeds, spices and salt in a large bowl.

Put the apple, eggs, oil, honey, both zests and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir to combine well, then stir in the zucchini until evenly mixed through. Pour into the tin, then lightly scatter over the almonds.

Bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cover the top loosely with foil if it is browning too much.

Let cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove from the tin and cool completely on a cooling rack. Store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

Cook’s note: Spread the zucchini over a clean tea towel then roll up tightly and twist to remove excess moisture before adding to the batter.