This was my first Modern Baker Challenge recipe! It was very exciting. I was so excited to break out my brand new loaf pans too. The author stated clearly that we should really use the appropriate pan for each bread. Honestly, I didn't think there's much difference between a 9x5 pan and a 8 1/2x4 1/2 pan, but since I'm new to this I decided to follow the rules and got one of each. I also found about 100 other things I want at the kitchen store too. I used to be able to walk right by all that stuff and now I'm a total kitchen gadget person.
I did like the flavor of the bread as I ate around the figs. I could see doing the bread sans the figs. The bread was a big hit in the house. I do like cranberries in things, maybe I could try those in the bread. What else could I substitute? I'll have to give that some thought.
Note: As a courtesy to the author our group has agreed not to produce the recipes for this challenge. If you like the results and want the recipes please buy the book and feel free to join us in baking!