Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread

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13.11.12

{Due to a recent virus attack I lost a whole bunch of recipe on my blog. I am slowly working on posting them back one by one. I am going to start with the recipes I am getting most requests for. If you remember/want to try one of my earlier recipes which is now not in this blog please write to be at chinmayie.bhat@gmail.com and i’ll try to post it as soon as possible. I am basically just going to re-post the recipe as it was. So some of the content might not be so relevant today but my intention is to get them all back  and I  have over 80 posts to re-blog. Thank you! }

 

Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread

 

Only a fellow bread baker can understand the addiction and satisfaction of baking bread! My love for yeasty loaves rising and aroma of it baking filling the house has reached a new level! I think I like baking bread a lot more than eating it :)

I am always looking for a reason to bake breads. If I have guests coming over for dinner I intentionally plan the meal around freshly baked bread. I serve hot bread with several different cheeses and toppings and it never fails to impress. To me it’s a perfect occasion to experiment. After everybody is done, if I have more bread I even pack some for them so that I can bake a new loaf the next day…. I know, it’s some serious addiction.

 

Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread

 

I woke up today wanting to bake. I was in a mood for a rustic loaf, nothing fancy, nothing time consuming, just simple hearty bread. I used some chopped walnuts for crunch and pureed dates for sweetness. You can also use finely chopped dates but since I already had fresh date puree hand I just went with that. Unfortunately I don’t have step by step pictures but I’ll try my best to explain each step as much detail as possible.

 

Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread

 

This beautiful rustic bread is soft and mildly sweet from the dates. If you are having it for breakfast, I recommend serving it with some maple syrup or honey for extra sweetness. It tastes great by itself also but I am sure it can taste good with almost anything.

 

Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread

 

Bake this bread this weekend!. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Mine was slightly burnt at the bottom as I wandered off when the bread was almost done. Don’t let small things like this affect your confidence. It’s precisely the reason you need to bake one more loaf… and then another one and keep baking more and more! Practice makes one perfect and in any case there is never too much bread right?

 

Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread

 

Notes:

To make the date puree, de-seed the dates and place them in a little bit of hot water till soft. Blend it fully adding extra water if needed.

Use date syrup instead of homemade date puree

Use finely chopped dates instead of date puree. If you are doing that you might need to add an extra 1/4 cup (approximately) of water.

Use any other nut or seed of your choice instead of walnuts.

Use any other oil if you are not crazy about olive oil.

This makes daily big loaf so have friends over if you feel like you might need a help finishing it :)

Most importantly enjoy the process :)

 

Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread

 

Ingredients:

Set – 1

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast

Set – 2

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup date puree
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • some extra whole wheat flour to dust or knead.

 

Heat 1 cup water and 1 tbsp sugar till it’s slightly warm. Please note that the water should be just WARM and not HOT. Wait for it to cool down a little and add the active dry yeast to it. Just let it sit until frothy and bubbly. Leave it alone and do not touch or mix it, it should take 5 to 10 minutes for the yeast to get frothy.

In a big bowl combine all the dry ingredients of set 2 and stir to combine. For this step you can just use a wooden spoon instead of your hands. Now add the liquids one by one. Pour the yeasty water and mix for everything to incorporate well.  Dough will be sticky but that’s ok. Cover with a wet towel and let it double in a warm place. It can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours depending how warm the surrounding is.

When the dough has doubled up, remove the wet towel and put the remaining 1 cup of whole wheat flour on to it covering the entire sticky surface of the dough. Use your hand the deflate the dough and then knead it gently till it’s not too sticky anymore. While kneading the dough don’t be too hard on it, take your time and do it slowly with love :) Feel free to add a couple of tbsp of flour extra if you find the dough too sticky to handle. When it’s all mixed well, pour the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil over it and knead once again.

Dust your baking tray generously with flour. Transfer the dough on to it. You can shape it the way you like or simply leave it the way it is. Bread looks pretty no matter what the shape is. Cover it with a wet cloth and keep it aside for 30-40 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven at 160 degree celsius.

Remove the wet cloth and slash the loaf diagonally a few times.

Place the loaf in the preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. When the bread it ready, it’ll be golden on top and will sound hollow when tapped.

Take out the hot bread out of the oven, Remove from the baking tray and let it cool completely before you cut it.

 

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