The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Golden Date Bread (Take #2)

Mebake's picture

Golden Date Bread (Take #2)

This is my second take at Golden date bread, the recipe found in Laurel’s Wholegrain baking book.  As I did in my previous post here, I have added a poolish to the formula to increase the extensibility of this dough, and improve flavor.

This time, however, i reduced the date puree to 50% of the original formula, as I found it to be on the sweet side, and increased the final dough water by 50 grams to compensate.

Admiring fellow TFL baker’s loaf shaping skills, like Janet and Breadsong, and Txfarmer, I tried shaping rolls in a pan myself. I’am impressed with the results.

Added by edit: It is note worthy to say that i have heeded Andy's advice of autolysing the flour and water first , and avoid adding the Dates puree at the beginning as they tend to compete with flour for water. I did that but i autolysed everything except the puree for 30 minutes. It worked! thanks Andy.

The bread was soft, light, yet wholesome. It was not sweet, but has a hint of dates flavor. The crust was soft too.

This bread is best eaten alone, and needs no accompaniment. Top Notch!


lumos's picture

::sighs::  What a beautiful looking dough.....  Lovely yellowy tint and looks so nice and soft. Can't believe it's made  with almost 100% WW flour.  Pity I can't taste it....:p

Thanks for sharing.  :)

sam's picture

Nice, Mebake.

Curious about the date puree.   I think your overall formula minus the dates was about 70% hydration.  Please correct me if I am wrong.   In addition, do you have an estimate of what the date-puree contributes on top of that, to the overall hydration?  Doesn't have to be exact, I was just curious.   For example, when I was experimenting with soaked flaxseeds, bringing that into a dough, that hydrated my dough a lot.   So I was curious if you treated the date puree as a dry or wet ingredient.  I would assume a wet ingredient, so I was wondering about the water factor of it.  50% hydration for date puree?


sam's picture


I re-read your post and it seems from this comment:

"and avoid adding the Dates puree at the beginning as they tend to compete with flour for water."

That puree'd Dates actually consume more water than they bring initially.   (I have never worked with Dates, that's why I was curious).

It reminds me a little of working with Oats.   I never did get Oats right.   (for another time). 

Mebake's picture

 Thanks, Lumos!

It can be done, really. You have to knead intensively, with rest periods of  5 minutes, and you have to enrich your dough with some fat, like butter. Finally, you have to use finely milled flour, with no large bran particles.

Mebake's picture

Thanks , Gvz!

Well i've assumed that, since dates in puree form contain water, as pitted dates are boiled with some water, then formed into a puree when cooled; that they contribute some moisture to the dough. I've estimated their moisture at 25% of total mass. This rationale seems to be ineefective in reality, as they suck up moisture rather than add.


varda's picture

you did a 4 piece.   So cool.   What pan did you use?   I agree with Lumos - love the color of the crumb.   It came out so nicely.  -Varda

FlourChild's picture

I like the way you've shaped this, may have to "borrow" that for my next loaf pan bread!  Your crumb looks so appealing, and the thought of a little sweetness from the dates makes me think it must have been delicious.  Nice job. :)

rossnroller's picture

I especially love that bottom crumb shot. Looks delicious.


Janetcook's picture


Great job shaping!  Isn't it fun to shape them this way?  People are always amazed by loaves that I  3-piece and, as you have found out, it really isn't that hard to do.

I will have to give your new recipe a go now too with my ww leaven but add your poolish to it as your loaf looks very tasty and moist - my daughter loves loaves like this.

What difference did you see when you did your autolyse without the dates this time as Andy suggested?  Did it make the loaf lighter or were you able to add a bit more water?  (I have tried autolyzing only the flour and the water before adding the other ingredients and I have added everything but add ins like nuts and fruits but I have never really been able to see a huge difference in the outcome which is why I am curious about the difference you saw.)

Thanks for the update!
Take Care,



ananda's picture

Hi Khalid,

a wonderfully light crumb here; fantastic.

Good to know you liked the autolyse too.   I have been four-piecing panned loaves for a long time now; I really like this method of shaping.

Very best wishes


PiPs's picture

Beautiful looking crumb Khalid,

I love the colour of the crust too! I can imagine how delicious that is.


Mebake's picture

Thank you, Varda! I used this pan: 



Mebake's picture

 Thank you , FlourChild! I found that such shaping makes great pull away buns, not perfect for sandwich slices.

Mebake's picture

 Thank you, Ross!

Mebake's picture

Thank you, Janet!

It is fun indeed, and i'll sure be replicating this shaping form. However, i found that it really isn't the ideal shape for sandwich slices. Pull apart buns is what comes in mind.

As to the autolyse, i had to do it in order to allow the flour to absorb the water before the date puree competes for it, resulting in a drier dough.


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Andy!

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Phil!

breadsong's picture

Hello Khalid,
Thank you for posting about this delicious-looking bread, and for your kind mention re: shaping -
so grateful to Andy for his example :^)
The date puree sounds like such an interesting addition to bread dough.
Your bread looks beautifully mixed, the crumb soft and fluffy, and the shaping so attractive.
I really want to give this bread a try - thanks for your inspiration, once again!
:^) from breadsong

dabrownman's picture

bread Mebake.  Looks like a fine sandwich bread.  I wonder how this bread would do with figs in the dates place?  I prefer the taste of figs generally  - and have a free supply of those  too :-) 

Mebake's picture

Thank you, breadsong!

I'am glad you liked it! i've halved the date puree in this particular recipe, as i found the former one to be sweet. you can increase the puree slightly more, without adding much sweetness.