Monday, July 13, 2009

Date and Honey Loaf


I'm back! Our family and friends who were visiting us have left and the house now feels empty and calm (except for the kids). We miss all the fun we had with people around the house. While my in-laws were staying with us, I didn't have to entertain the kids rather they were getting spoilt with all the attention they got from their grandparents and older cousins. Now I have to keep them entertained all the time.

The date and honey loaf was something I made a while ago and have been meaning to post this recipe. I don't do bread and have very little success when making bread. I think it’s the lack of my skills in using yeast that is the culprit. With yeast I find that the temperature of the water should be right and that is where I think I usually go wrong. However, after a lot of trial and error, I think I'm beginning to have some success with bread. I've learnt that the best way to determine the right temperature for the water is to stick your finger in it and be able to leave your finger in the water for a few seconds comfortably.

Yeast is a living organism and is in the air around us and comes from the fungus family. Yeast needs a supply of energy for its growth and sugar supplies this energy. To learn more about yeast in baking click here to see more in detail.

The bread was delicious. It was soft and springy, lightly sweet with the honey and dates. Lovely with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Ingredients:
  • Butter for greasing
  • 9 oz/250 g/1¾ cups strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2¾ oz/75 g/½ cup strong brown bread flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ oz/7g envelope active dry yeast
  • 7 fl oz/200 ml/scant 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2¾ oz/ 75 g/1½ cup dried dates. chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Method:

Grease a 2 lb/900 g loaf pan with butter. Sift the white and brown flours into a large bowl and stir in the salt and yeast. Pour in the water, oil and honey and mix to form a dough.

Place the dough on a lightly floured counter and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth, then place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or so or until doubled in size.

Knead in the dates and sesame seeds. Shape the dough and place in the prepared pan. Cover and let stand in a warm place for additional 30 minutes, or until springy to the touch.

Bake the loaf in a preheated oven, 425ºF/220ºC for 30 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve cut into thick slices.

Recipe adapted from Perfect Baking

This recipe is going to Iamfoodblog for the weekly event of YeastSpotting.

8 comments:

Nags said...

i love anything date-flavoured, fave being date sticky pudding! ;)

momgateway said...

Dates are my favorite dried fruit. Will try this.

nick said...

I also really like dates, anything baked with them is almost inevitably a WIN!

TBH, the best way to tell what temperature the the water should be for the yeast is to use a thermometer. There is nothing wrong with a little help from technology until you get a good grasp on the different "feel" of 60 degree water and 80 degree water.

Mimi said...

Your bread looks yummy!

Stefanie said...

That sounds delicious!

Aparna said...

Never made a date and honey loaf before. I should because I like date and walnut cakes! :)

Love your florentines, btw.

Zoe said...

Im not a big bread baker either but I love to live vicariously through others :)

Parita said...

Date and honey sounds awesome combination! you have got a wonderful space here :)