Monday, September 24, 2012

Reserve Your Friday Nights for This Bread: Best Date Bread

You won't normally see me making a bunch of hullabaloo over dates. But this date bread...toasted with a nice schmear of butter...definitely worthy of a night in.

I've been away quite awhile, eight months to be exact. I recently was trying to find my recipe for Sticky Chicken and then I remembered that it was on the blog. After retrieving it for dinner that night, I sorta stuck around on my own blog, reading past posts and getting a little nostalgic. I really started to miss it.

I figured I didn't have much time anymore to blog about food. I've been pouring all my energies into our Etsy shop, Lauren Alison, which is also the brand we sell our screen printed linens under. When I say "we", I mean the Hubs and I. You can read all about how he quit his day job to build our brand together on our Etsy feature, Quit Your Day Job, blog post here.

Between printing and sewing, I still am just as passionate about cooking and baking. And baking seems to be the big deal with me lately, especially bread. I happened on this recipe in a book I bought out of the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble about 2-3 years ago and never made a single recipe out of it! Man, I was missing out.

It's the perfect breakfast toast, although, it would be equally good served with cheese and fruit. It's dense, without being dry, hearty but not heavy and perfectly studded with sweet, sticky bits of dates. I'm thinking I may have to take a little break right now and pop a slice into the toaster for a evening snack.

I have modified it slightly to adapt to what I had on hand. Originally the recipe calls for figs and dates. All I had was dates and it was delicious. Enjoy with a hot cup of cocoa for those chilly, autumnal nights.

Date Bread
adapted and modified from Paul Hollywood's Recipe from 100 Great Breads

Scant 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. instant yeast
1/2 stick softened butter
1 tbsp. molasses
1 1/4 c. water
1 cup dates, chopped

Mix flours, water, salt, yeast butter, molasses and water together for 5 minutes. Knead for 5 minutes. Let dough rise for 1 hour, covered or uncovered, makes no difference.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Incorporate dates into the dough and divide into two equal pieces. Shape them into balls, place on sheet and let rise 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dust loaves with flour and using a knife make three equidistant horizontal cuts all around each ball. Bake for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

It feels so good to write after so long. I've tried keeping up with another blog for Lauren Alison, but I find myself getting behind on it too. But there are a few posts you might enjoy, you can check it out here-

Let me know what you've been up to! I miss you foodie friends!



  1. This bread looks amazing!!! I will have to check out your shop. Do you ship overseas??? I am always looking for accents for the house.

  2. Missed you Lauren! Here I am in the furthest reaches of rural China, in a crazy frontier town in the mountains dreaming about the date bread I can make one day when I get back to a house with an over. One day.....Look forward to reading more about your new venture - best of luck!


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