The Golden Date Bread recipe, uses pitted dates for the sweetener, the rest of the ingredients are the usual; whole wheat flour, yeast, salt and butter. The recipe suggests ½ C (89 g) of pitted dates for one loaf but says the quantity could be halved for a less sweet bread. I used 4 large medjool dates, which came to about 60 g. I was lazy to cook them with water in a saucepan, I microwaved them, in 3 rounds of 1 minute each (Thankful that I had kept a screen over the container). The mixture didn't blend into a gooey mass like the book said it should be, so I blended them a bit with a hand mixer. The saucepan method would probably have worked better.
The mixture was supposed to cool enough to not kill the yeast, I waited till it was about 103° F. When mixing the dough, it seemed much warmer than usual and I was afraid it would kill the yeast. So I kept the bowl in the fridge for about 4 minutes. I'm not sure if that did anything.
|Barely mixed in, before autolyzing (resting) for 5 minutes|
The butter was mixed in towards the end of the 20 minute kneading.
|Ready for the first rise|
The bread hadn't risen impressively after 90 minutes, but a wet finger poke suggested that it was done. So I reshaped it and let it rise again. Normally the second rise takes about half the time of the first rise, but I decided to let it rise longer, about 70 minutes.
|After the second rise.|
I'm getting better at shaping the dough using LR's method. This dough ended up proofing for pretty long because I had something else consuming the oven. At this point my expectations from this dough weren't very high. I messed up the slashing as well.
|Much longer rise time than usual|
Surprise, surprise! Oven spring! The bread registered a good 207° F after 45 minutes so I got it out, but it wouldn't release from the pan. After waiting for 5 or so minutes I loosened it a bit with a spatula (note the rough sides on the loaf). I put it back in the oven (turned off) for 5 minutes to strengthen the sides (not sure that did anything)
|Surprise oven spring|
|Sliced decently well.|
The tofurky sandwiches we made with the thin slices fell apart a bit. The almond butter sandwich was wonderful. There isn't any extra sweetness from the dates, they just replaced the honey I would normally use.
|Decent but crumbly crumb|
Date: Feb 27, 2011
Recipe: Golden Date Bread from Laurel Robertson's book, 'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book'
Flours: Whole wheat flour
Bread specific ingredients: Pitted chopped dates
Sweetener used: Dates
First rise: 90 minutes
Second rise: 75 minutes (followed by rounding and 10 minutes of rest)
Proofing time: About 100 minutes
Comments: Next time I will cook the dates in a saucepan and be more patient for the date mixture to cool down sufficiently. Added 1 tsp vital wheat gluten to help with the rise. The recipe suggests using sesame oil instead of the butter and adding sesame seeds to the dough to make a Date-Sesame Bread (dates supposedly are dynamite with sesame). That might be interesting. I also want to try to make LR's breads with vegetable/canola oil instead of butter.
Time to go make a sandwich for lunch.