Almond, Lemon and Thyme Bread with Fig and Lemon Jam

Quick breads many times are full of oil or butter, sugar and white flour.  I’m attracted to the “idea” of these breads but then get turned off by the ingredients.  Not that I don’t use white sugar and white flour when making my Italian cookies as I like to keep to the traditional recipe.  But  during the rest of the year, I prefer to enjoy all I eat while knowing that I’ve tweaked it to be healthier for me…and that means enjoying what I eat without any guilt!! 

I do see more recipes around switching out the butter or oil for applesauce or yogurt, white sugar to raw sugar or agave and white flour to wheat or a blend of flours.   While I don’t have a gluten intolerance, I do try to lessen the gluten I consume.  This bread could be completely gluten free by replacing the 3 tablespoons of white/wheat flour with gluten free flour.  I personally just don’t like the smell of gluten free flour!

This bread can be served for breakfast, tea, as a side with dinner or a light dessert.  I prepared a jam of sorts as I don’t can I make just enough to last me for a week.  Figs and lemons simmered with orange blossom honey, cardamon and cloves provided just enough sweetness and taste to compliment this bread. 

Almond, Lemon and Thyme Bread

3/4 cup plain yogurt

3/4 cup raw sugar (turbinado)

Zest of one organic lemon

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup almond flour

3 tablespoons white/wheat flour (replace with gluten free flour for a gluten free bread)

1 teaspoon baking powder (Rumford Baking Powder /Clabber Girl Baking Powder are gluten free)

3/4 teaspoon citrus sea salt or Kosher salt

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan.  Combine the cornmeal, flours, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a large bowl of an electric mixer, blend the yogurt and sugar until well combined.  Add the lemon zest and eggs, one at a time, mixing well.  Add in the flour mixture, blend to combine and stir in the almonds until just combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until lightly golden and toothpick tested clean.  Let cool completely on wire rack. 

Fig and Lemon Jam

3 small lemons

8 dried figs, chopped small

1/4 cup raw sugar

1/4 teaspoon cardamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1  tablespoon orange blossom honey

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon citrus sea salt or Kosher salt

Prepare the lemons by slices off both ends to allow the lemon to stand flat.  Using a paring knife, cut the peel and pith off by following the curve of the lemons.  Cut the lemon segments out and chop into small pieces.  Place lemon segments and any juices into a small saucepan.  Add in the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until thickened.  Allow to cool, refrigerate for up to 5 days. 

47 thoughts on “Almond, Lemon and Thyme Bread with Fig and Lemon Jam

  1. This sounds fabulous and such a nice change-up from our banana breads. 🙂 Miss A and I are also big fans of fig preserves, so I have no doubt we’d enjoy this jam too. Have a great rest of the weekend Linda!

  2. You do know how much I adore herbs in my sweets Linda and this bread looks out of this world! I almost made a lemon pound cake for today’s post. You and I are so frequently on the same wavelength. I agree that making healthy switches is the way to go. I haven’t played with switching out my flours too much; i’ve done partial wheat and have used almond meal quite a bit but I definitely need to incorporate more healthier alternatives to the bad white stuff. Happy Sunday!

    1. I know Geni, we’d be dangerous in the kitchen together!! I hope you do the lemon pound cake, sounds like a wonderful spring dessert! Is there ever a way to make a healthy pound cake tho!!

  3. I love your blend of flavors, so imaginative! I also agree with your line of thought, it would be great to mix up treats that aren’t quite so “over the top” (oops, I just did that today!) I’ve been giving lots of baking away, lately.. but this one I would be hard pressed to share:)
    I can’t believe there isn’t any sugar in them!

    1. There’s just enough raw sugar to blend in a nice light sweetness in the bread so its not totally sugar free. The jam adds a bit more sweetness, but all very light and perfect for breakfast as there’s no sugar rush!

  4. That jam must have smelt amazing while it was simmering away on the stove. And I would love some on a slice of your bread. What a great combination of ingredients. I think if I cooked that it would all be gobbled up straight from the oven before it even had a chance to cool on a wire rack.

  5. Okay, you know I am not a huge bread eater lol. But you guys are definitely wowing me with your bread recipes and your tips. I think I am just going to make a loaf and give it to my mom just to say “I did it” 🙂

  6. I can imagine the bread crispy from the toaster. The bread looks great but it’s the jam that has me intrigued, I love fig jam with a cheese plate. I will have to give this a go!

  7. You’ve really created quite a dish here, Linda. The bread sounds like one healthy loaf and yet tasty, too! As you know, that isn’t often the case. Your jam, also, sounds wonderful and I cannot wait to give it a try.Put the 2 together and that is a great breakfast item or mid-day snack. Yum!

  8. Linda, you are so creative! I think it’s the first time I see cornmeal in a sweet cake. It looks fantastic and is definitely very original. The fig and lemon jam pairing is an excellent idea!

      1. Actually I have thought it was the same… First when I started to see the word “polenta” on many blogs (in the ingredients list) I thought it was a mistake. For me “polenta” has always meant simply the Italian dish made with cornmeal. Then I thought it was cornmeal…. I’m completely lost 🙁 Luckily, I know what it is called like in French 😉

  9. What a fabulous loaf Linda – you’ve built in some great ingredients – I love the idea of yogurt especially for the added protein and have been greatly enjoying your lemon recipes of late… the thyme sounds heavenly in this moist bread. And…, I’m completely impressed that you made the jam too!! Wow. Fantastic.

  10. This looks fantastic Linda – I bet the lemon and thyme make a fabulous pairing in this loaf – the light crunchiness of the almonds inside would be the “icing on the proverbial cake”, so to speak! 🙂

    …and that jam – wow. I really need to start making a few more jams… it looks incredible!

  11. Sounds delicious. I love all the great healthy changes you made to this recipe. I love the crunch that cornmeal offers and the almond flour was a nice touch too. I’m excited to try your lemon fig jam. I happen to have an open package of figs calling my name!

  12. The lemon and herb combination sounds so inviting in this! I’m trying to be as gluten and generally grain free as possible without being fanatical about it, so this is something I *will* try soon! Thanks for the inspiration *and* the recipe!

  13. Your loaf looks beautiful and so delicious! Love the addition of cornmeal and almond flour. Funny…I just bought some dried figs to make jam but I love your recipe with the lemon. I might make two batches.

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