Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread

I came across this beautiful looking bread in Chinmayie's space. Ever since I had been dreaming baking this, taking pictures and savouring the heavenly stuff!

The attractive part was that, the recipe of this bread seemed to be flexible and I loved the way she'd described..

"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..."

Wah! what could possibly stop trying baking such a lovey looking thing, healthy, in which all the nice ingredients merge!

I had done a stepwise feeling not very confident as not much used to baking bread. But the final outcome prompts me to bake bread again :)

Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread
Source - love food eat


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

Set 3

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp olive oil
Some extra whole wheat flour to dust or knead.

If you don't have date puree, soak a few dates in luke warm water for some time and grind to a paste.( I've halved the original recipe, so take care of the number of dates to be soaked )
Again, I made a coarse puree than a fine paste as I prefer that way :)

Heat 1 cup water and 1 tbsp sugar till it’s slightly warm.The water should be just warm and not hot. 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 10 to 30 minutes for the yeast to get frothy.

I forgot to take out the spoon I used to mix the yeast and sugar earlier and left it as it is :). So take care not to mix it.

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 date puree, water and olive oil. Pour the yeasty water and mix for everything to incorporate well.

Dough will be sticky but that’s fine.

 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 gently and slowly. Feel free to add a couple of tbsps 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. Olive oil magically takes out all the sticky remains of dough from your fingers after you are done with this part!

Line your tray with butter paper.( You can either dust the pan but I would recommend butter paper for a not-so-experienced-bread-baker; for the safer side not to burn the base ) 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 deg C

Remove the wet cloth. The dough would have risen further and you may find splits. No worries. Leave it as it is. But remember to slice the top. It not only gives it that classic look but also prevents the top from further splitting while baking.

I forgot to take a picture of this step.. was in a haste to place the loaf into the hot oven and this picture was taken while the bread was half baked..burnt my fingers..not a clear image so turned.. black and white..anyway thought of giving you an idea about it

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.

The bread tasted great just as it is with the mild sweetness of the dates and the bursting natural flavour of the fresh whole wheat!

You can also have it with honey / maple syrup / mildly sweet fruit preserve as you like.

I can sense many of you thinking whether it will turn out perfect for first time bread bakers. Take my word, it will never let you down. Just go ahead and bake you ill get it right. It need not has to be perfect.

 I am planning to bake this next with multigrain flour! Why don't you too? :)


  1. Came out so perfect... looks delicious!

  2. Even I was hooked to her recipe... Gonna try this soon... Looks so fresh and yum

  3. Looks great! It is quite a task to cook and take pictures at the right moment. That b/w photo is a charmer. I like it! This bread looks very rustic and a healthy option too! I have posted my bread maker white bread. Plz have a look!

  4. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. Will try it out this weekend with my 3 yr old daughter and let you know what we think. I might skip the walnuts since she is allergic to nuts. A pity really, since the texture will be different. But, if she is going to bake, she will want to taste. Fingers crossed...

    1. Now, I am back after trying out the recipe. Other than a small change, i.e., I needed an extra 2 tbsp of water, it was perfect. This may be because I did not add walnuts or may be the weather here is just dry. Anyway, the loaf was perfect and golden. I like the semi-sweet taste of the bread and so did my 3 yr old and she was, rightly, very proud of herself for helping too. Hubby loved it as well with a good serving of butter. Despite, lacking "sweet tooth", he ate quite a bit :) So thanks for sharing the easy recipe. Easy enough for a 3 yr old to help with preparation. Obviously, I needed to handle the oven steps.

    2. So glad to see your message, Jayanthi! :)The ingredients are lovely, so as the method.It's absolutely ok if u'd avoided nuts for your little one's sake :) Unfortunately for me, the power got cut while baking half way :( the top was a bit hard and the insides a little dense . but was fine for a 'rustic' bread category ;)

      Thank you much for trying out and Chinmayie should be feeling happy too :)

  5. That is so perfect!!! Very rustic and delicious!!!!
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  6. Wow...Nice texture and perfect one...Love the pics...

  7. Looks gorgeous Bharathy,perfect loaf-makes me want to try it asap.

  8. Thank you so much for trying my recipe Bharathy! Glad you enjoyed baking and the bread :)
    Love your step by step photos!
    Love Food Eat

  9. And now I am dreaming about baking the same and clicking the same, provided it comes out as beautiful as yours.

  10. Love the bread, it looks so wholesome and inviting :)

  11. This is a great recipe... And your bread looks really good... If I was at home I would have baked it today itself...

    I have tried the banana bread with dates( without butter or oil) from Chinmayees space and it turned out so good... U should try that too... :)

  12. Bharathy, thank you for your kind reply. In the mean while, I tried a variation of this recipe by adding molasses and maple syrup to make a "rustic" accompaniment for a tea-time potluck. I needed something more sweet than the rustic bread. But did not want to make a "cake". It was literally gone like hot cakes and had such fantastic flavor. Thought I will let you know, in case, you wanted to try some variation.

    1. Seriously I had been thinking of substituting molasses for brown sugar lately. But hadnt yet! You are one dar(l)ing baker, Jay!! :)

  13. What a healthy whole wheat bread with the goodness of dates and the crunch of walnuts in between!!!

  14. That bread looks has got all the goodness it...


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