Spiced Date Bread Recipe
1 tsp Yeast
1/4 cup Milk, warmed
2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Mahlab (St. Lucie Cherry Pit Powder)
2 tbsps Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Eggs (1 of the eggs is for an egg wash)
1/2 cup 35% Cream
1 1/2 tsp Rosewater
Sesame Seeds, for sprinkling
3 cups Pitted Dates
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
Start by soaking the pitted dates with the cinnamon in boiling water until they soften. Once the dates are soft, puree them into a fine paste using a food processor.
In a bowl, mix the flour, 1 tbsp of sugar, the Mahlab and the salt. In a separate bowl, mix the warmed milk, yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar, and let the yeast mixture sit for 5 minutes till the yeast blooms. Once the yeast mixture is bubbly, add the egg, 35% cream and rosewater, and mix them thoroughly.
Pour the wet yeast mixture onto the dry ingredients and start kneading the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it and let the dough rise somewhere warm until it doubles in size. Once the dough is proofed, punch it down to deflate it, then cut it into five equal balls and start rolling them out into rectangles. Place the strip of the date paste on one edge of the dough, then tuck and roll to create mini buns. To get the ribbed effect, before rolling the dough fully, you can cut strips into a 3rd of the rectangle and roll all the way through.
Once all 5 rolls are ready, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the rolls along the edge of a round pan. Prepare an egg for the egg wash to give the dough a nice golden brown sheen once baked. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and let the dough ring proof for another hour or until it doubles in size. Once the 2nd round of proofing is done, bake the dough in a preheated oven at 350F for 30 minutes or until it turns golden brown like in the photo.
This Spiced Date Bread was inspired by a Wool Bread recipe posted by a friend of mine in Lebanon and I couldn’t resist adding my own twist to it.
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