Almost effortless overnight breakfast recipe for soft, gorgeous fig buns, perfect for brunch or breakfast. Dried figs lend these rolls a juicy sweetness that’s impossible to resist.
Please excuse me for taking a break of all the gloriously summery recipes that are floating around right now, not that I don’t like fruits and berries while they are in season, but there is a more humble-sounding delicacy I wanted to share right now, and it doesn’t have any sun-ripened pineapples or any other trendy summery concoction in it.
Instead, I promise you these are the next best thing to eating breakfast in France – French Fig Buns that will give you that sweetly indulgent feeling of eating warm, fresh from the oven bread in the morning. Yes, you read that right – this is a great overnight breakfast recipe that gives you fresh breakfast bread without all the work.
These yummies are called French because it was in the French Riviera, in Antibes, a couple of years ago when I was first introduced to the sinfully good thing called fig bread. The bread is on the dense and heavy side, with juicy bits of dried figs that give the bread a wonderful texture and sweetness. Just imagine sitting on a terrace, listening to the sounds of the city waking up around you, the air warm and heavy with the aromas of lavender and rosemary, while you cradle your favorite French coffee in one hand and have a thick slice of fresh fig bread, dripping with melted butter, in the other.
That is as close to breakfast heaven as I will get, I think. There was that one time when I ordered almost everything on the brekkie menu at Balthazar in NYC and almost died from happiness, but even they can’t make the air smell like fresh lavender. It’s the whole impossibly quaint French package that you just can’t beat.
So, these fig buns are soft with just a little crunch on the crust, but if you want more, just carefully drizzle some water on the bottom of the oven just before you put the baking sheet in. They are a fluffier and lighter version of the original bread, so they will not make you feel like you’ve eaten a big dinner after two slices. The fig rolls taste gorgeous with butter, but please try them with various marmalades as well.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that these beauties are perfect for a stress-free morning, since they are prepared the day before and will rise slowly in the fridge on their own overnight. Just a little prep in the evening and your breakfast table will have a basket of some seriously tasty rolls with zero effort. Plus they will have your place smelling like a French boulangerie, which is always a plus. So see below for my favorite overnight breakfast recipe – at least in the bread department.
Overnight breakfast recipe: French Fig Buns
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 ¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
½ cup bread flour
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup dried figs, chopped into small cubes
1. Measure the warm water into a bowl and drizzle the yeast in, mix until dissolved and let stand a few minutes, until you see tiny bubbles on the surface. Add oil, salt, sugar, the bread flour and 2 cups of the all-purpose flour. Knead until you have an even texture.
2. Place the dough on a floured working surface and incorporate the remaining ½ cup of all-purpose flour and the figs into the dough. Knead gently until the flour lumps have disappeared. Try to avoid breaking up all the fig bits. Form the dough into a bar shape and divide into 12 equal portions and shape them into plump balls.
3. Put the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.
4. In the morning, take the rolls out into room temperature when you set the oven to heat to 475° F. Brush the rolls with water and cut x marks on the tops with sharp scissors. Bake on the center rack for 8-10 minutes, watching closely for doneness to avoid surface burning. Let cool on a rack, uncovered.