The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Date Walnut Bread

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Date Walnut Bread

The inspiration for this bread is David Snyder’s Fig Walnut recipe. I followed it pretty closely but I subbed out dates instead of figs since I had some that needed to be used up. I also used a stand mixer rather than doing it by hand. And of course, I can’t forget the yogurt to tenderize the crust!

 

 

Recipe

 

Makes 3 loaves

 

Levain:

158 g strong bakers unbleached flour

40 g freshly milled Selkirk wheat flour (Selkirk wheat berries)

158 g filtered water

40 g sourdough starter

 

Dough:

594 g strong bakers unbleached flour

92 g freshly milled Selkirk wheat flour (Selkirk wheat berries)

194 g freshly milled rye flour (Rye berries)

682 g filtered water

22 g pink Himalayan salt

30 g local yogurt

220 g toasted walnut pieces

220 g chopped dates

396 g levain

 

Make sure to refresh your starter a couple of times before making the levain.

 

The night before:

  1. Mill the needed grains if you mill your own flour. Cover and set aside.
  2. Toast the walnuts in a 300 F oven for 9 minutes. Cool. 
  3. Chop the dates, add to the walnuts and reserve.
  4. Dissolve  the sourdough starter in the water for the levain. 
  5. Add the flours listed for the levain to the bowl, mix well and let the levain rise at room temperature until it doubles (8 - 12 hours).

 

Dough making day:

  1. The next morning, a couple of hours before the levain is ready, place the dough water in a mixing bowl. Add the dough flours and mix on speed one of a mixer for a couple of minutes until you have a shaggy dough with no dry flour. Let sit for a couple of hours.
  2. After the autolyse, add the salt, the yogurt and the levain to the mixing bowl. Mix for a minute to integrate everything and then mix on speed 2 for 9 minutes. 
  3. Add the walnuts and the dates, and mix only until everything is evenly distributed.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on). 
  5. Do 2 sets of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 sets of sleepy ferret folds (coil folds) at 60 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 40%. This took another 2 and a half hours. It’s a very slow moving dough due to the amount of fruit and nuts in it. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and bubbles on top as well. 
  6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~815 g. Gently round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 1 hour on the counter. 
  7. Do a final shape by flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Gently overlap the edges of the dough in the center. Flip over and pull the dough towards you on all sides to seal the bottom. Be super gentle not to degas the dough. Did I mention to be gentle with this dough? 😂
  8. Sprinkle a  mix of rice flour and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons and cover. Let rise for an hour and a half in a warm spot and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 425 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 400 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.

 

Next time, I would do only one set of folds rather than 2 in the first hour. This dough is heavy and needs time to rise. As well, I dropped the temperature of baking on the second batch as the bottom of the loaves from the first batch baked up pretty dark. The recipe reflects the lowered temperature. 

 

 

Comments

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Bottoms look much better! 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Do you  think it was the sugar from the dates that caused excess darkening at the standard temp?  Dates are almost pure sugar.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

25 minutes at 450F and 22 minutes at 425 F is how I bake all my loaves. David warns to watch the loaves he baked with figs because of the sugar. These loaves are packed with dates so I am sure that’s why they are so dark.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

This web site is bookmark-worthy: http://nutritiondata.self.com

It doesn't have absolutely everything, but they do have most stuff I look up.  Total carbs, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals.  Carbs are broken down into fiber, types of sugars, sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, etc.  Oils/fats are broken down into omega-whatevers, saturated, unsaturated, poly-, mono-, etc.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Thank you!

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3


Benito's picture
Benito

Yum yum Danni, they look great.

Benny

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Did the chopped dates mostly dissolve?

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

There are still some chunks!

tortie-tabby's picture
tortie-tabby

Pretty unsuccessfully to bake bread like this for a while now. Your post is really helpful, I'm learning a lot. I think I've been too aggressive with the dough and also not allowing it to bulk ferment for long enough. Thank you! Your loaves look beautiful.

tortie-tabby's picture
tortie-tabby

I'm sure you've been asked this before, but is there any reason why you bake all your loaves seam-side up?

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

And two, I put 6 loaves into 6 pots at once. So if I score on the counter, the scores often close up, and if I score in the pot, there is an increased chance of burning myself. So I take the easy way out! 😊

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Trevor J Wilson’s post on his cranberry bread on Breadwerx. He has lots of good info on there on how to handle a dough full of fruit. I reread it several times while I was making this dough and it really helped. 

http://www.breadwerx.com/holiday-cranberry-sourdough-video/

tortie-tabby's picture
tortie-tabby

Your loaves do open up beautifully and there's no risk of them splitting open along the bottom that way. I'll take a look at that link for sure. I also have a box of kalamata olives in my fridge, so I might make something out of that. I saw you made olive sourdough recently, I'll probably reference your recipe too if you don't mind!

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

That’s one of the reasons that I post all my recipes. Others get to try them and let me know how they improve them!