I feel like every time I get my hands on some figs, I want to stuff something with them. The fig and lavender cookies I made last year are a good example. There is just something that about that sweet, jammy interior that is so good when it’s warmed up and discovered inside something unexpected.
Well, it’s fresh fig season in California once again, and I was lucky enough to have several leftover from a photo shoot to afford me the opportunity to experiment with them.
This year I got to try kadota figs for the first time. (First-time fruits and vegetables seem to be a trend lately. See Hatch chile post.)
We have a kadota fig tree in our yard. Our only fig tree. I bought it in the Bay Area. After a rough move and living in a pot, I thought for sure it was a goner. But each year, despite dead-looking branches, new leaves formed. Now that it is in the ground, it seems super happy. It’s tripled in size since I bought it, but still no figs.
Given how beautiful and healthy the tree looks, I expect this might simply be due to age. My research tells me that a fig tree can take 2 to 6 years to reach maturity. This one is about 3, but as I mentioned it had a rocky beginning. It’s only been in this beautiful condition for a little over a year.
So despite our tree, as I mentioned, I finally tried the variety this year (I just bought the tree because they looked pretty in the picture). I’m happy to report that they are my second favorite fig, close behind tiger figs.
They have a gorgeous magenta center and the exterior is a lovely solid light lime color. They are bigger than tiger figs and more round than oval like what you find with brown turkeys and black missions.
I decided they would serve as a great focus for my stuffing efforts. So I made a basic honey whole wheat bread dough and formed it into eight rolls. I flattened each roll and added a trimmed half of a kadota fig.
Then I wrapped the dough around it and gently re-rolled it into a dinner roll shape. They then got coated in brown sugar and cinnamon. Once baked, a cream cheese frosting was spread over the top.
These rolls are hearty while also being sweet (but not overwhelmingly so), making them perfect for breakfast.
The fig inside warmed into almost a jam-like filling that was slightly earthy and slightly sweet. It also maintained a bit of its pretty hue which is bonus.
Cinnamon Fig Breakfast Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 8 rolls
What you’ll need:
1 cup water, warmed to 110 to 115 degrees F
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
2 cups whole wheat flour
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
4 kadota figs, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 ounce cream cheese
2 teaspoons milk, any variety
Pinch fine sea salt
How to make it:
Stir the honey into the warm water and then stir in the yeast. Set aside and let bloom, about 5 minutes.
Add the flour to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low pour in the bloomed yeast. Continue to mix on medium to medium-high until all ingredients form into a slightly tacky dough. Add the salt and continue to knead in the mixer for 3 to 4 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 3 to 5 more minutes, until smooth and elastic. Form into a ball. Coat it in a small amount of the butter. Also, coat the bottom and sides of a large bowl with some of the butter. Place the ball of dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and set in a draft free spot for one hour, or until the dough is doubled in size.
Punch down the dough. Cut it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a round roll shape. Flatten each to about a 1/2 inch thickness. Place half a fig in the middle of each roll. Form the roll around the fig and work back into a round shape.
Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Coat each roll in the mix.
Use the rest of the melted butter to coat an 8-inch cake pan. Add the rolls to the pan. Sprinkle any remaining brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Let the rolls rise on the stove for 20 more minutes.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the rolls are browned and baked through. Let cool.
For the frosting, use a fork to mash together the confectioners sugar and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Then begin to stir. Keep stirring until you have a thick paste. Switch to a spoon if desired, add the milk, stirring between each teaspoon. Add enough milk to get a spreadable consistency and stir until smooth. Stir in the salt.
Spread the frosting over the rolls and serve.