Sweet & Savory Date Bread
Our date bread will remind you of cinnamon raisin bread, but with more complex and savory-friendly flavor. It’s perfect toasted with a pat of butter for breakfast, but can also be used for a sweet and savory sandwich.
Makes 2 1 1/2 pound loaves
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter melted or at room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (can be substituted with whole milk)
- 3/4 cup water at room temperature
- 145 grams pitted medjool dates
- Mix flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the egg, butter, buttermilk and water and stir until the ingredients combine. You can use a spoon or the paddle attachment on your mixer until a soft but not sticky dough forms. You can adjust with additional flour if the dough is too sticky, or additional water if the dough is too stiff.
- Knead by hand for 10 minutes on a surface lightly sprinkled with flour or by mixer for 6-8 minutes. Add dates during the final two minutes of kneading to distribute them evenly without crushing the fruit. The dough temperature should be 77-81 degrees F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Ferment at room temperature until dough has doubled in size (approximately 2 hours)
- Divide the dough into equal pieces and form into loaves. Place each loaf in a slightly oiled standard bread pan ensuring that the top of the bread has a light coating of oil.
- Proof at room temperature until nearly doubled in size (approximately 60-90 minutes)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the center of the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the bread pans 180 degrees for even baking. Continue baking for another 20-30 minutes. The date bread should register 190 degrees internally and be golden brown on top. When thumped the bread should make a hollow sound.
- Remove the date bread from the pans immediately and cool for at least one hour (preferably 2 hours) before slicing and serving.