Instructions

  1. To make the filling: Place the figs in a small saucepan and pour the port and honey over them. Cover and let soak for at least 1 hour, and preferably overnight. After soaking, bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the figs are soft and the liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency.
  2. Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. After the figs have steeped, purée them and the liquid with a stick blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. To make the dough: Place all the dough ingredients, except the blue cheese, in a large bowl and mix and knead until a soft dough forms. Knead in the crumbled blue cheese. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. To shape: After the first rise, deflate the dough and press it into a 10" x 18" rectangle, with a long side closest to you. Spread half the fig filling in a long strip horizontally over the center third of the dough. Fold the uncovered bottom third up over the filling. Cover that strip of dough with the remaining filling, then fold the top of the dough down to make a rectangle roughly 3 1/2" wide and 18" long.
  5. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough lengthwise in half. Cut 1" slices crosswise to make 36 pieces of dough.
  6. Grease a 9" round cake pan or baking dish and, working from the outside edge, place the pieces of filled dough, cut side up, around the pan in a circle, spiraling inward and using all of the pieces to make a flower shape.
  7. Cover with greased plastic and let rise for 40 to 45 minutes, until puffy-looking.
  8. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  9. Uncover the bread, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the bread is golden brown all over. Tent with foil for the last 15 minutes if needed. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
  10. Store any leftovers, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for a day or so; freeze for longer storage.