As the leaves start to turn and the air becomes crisp, there’s nothing quite like the comforting aroma of freshly baked bread to warm your home.
This Autumn Date and Walnut Bread is the perfect addition to your fall baking repertoire. Packed with sweet Medjool dates and crunchy walnuts, it’s a delightful treat for breakfast or a cozy afternoon snack.
Let’s dive into this delicious recipe that captures the essence of autumn.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 ¼ cups warm water (110°F or 43°C)
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup chopped Medjool dates
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Proof the yeast
Start by proofing the yeast. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture, and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy. This indicates that the yeast is active and ready to use.
2. Mix the dry ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well.
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients
Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until a rough dough forms.
4. Knead the dough
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 8-10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment for this step.
5. Add dates and walnuts
Flatten the dough and sprinkle the chopped Medjool dates and walnuts evenly over the surface. Fold the dough over the toppings and knead gently to distribute them throughout the dough.
6. First rise
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
7. Shape the loaf
Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Shape it into a round or oval loaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
|Autumn Date and Walnut Bread
Estimated Nutrition per Serving
Calories: 220 kcal
Total Fat: 7g
Saturated Fat: 0.5g
Trans Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrates: 37g
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Before we get to the Autumn Date and Walnut Bread, I wanted to share a few photos of our trip out to the Berkshires with you. If you’re anxious to read about the bread, go ahead and skim down :).
After gobbling down a packed picnic lunch, the three of us took off on the most “strenuous” of the trails up Monument Mountain (FYI: the word strenuous is definitely relative. Although steep, the trail wasn’t all that difficult to ascend). Despite underdressing for the cold mountain air, the “gift” Shelby deposited for us at the trail head (dog owners, you know what I’m talking about), and the slightly less-than-vibrant past-peak foliage, I was smiling from ear to ear for most of the hike. I am happiest when outside, hiking in the woods… especially when I’m with the two loves of my life:
We were a few weeks past the prime “leaf peeping” season, but caught sight of the waning fall foliage before the trees turn bare for winter.
Of course, we took advantage of a scenic outlook for a self-timed family portrait.
Once at the summit of the mountain, we sat for a while and enjoyed the breeze and view.
If you ever decide to visit western Massachusetts, I definitely suggest stopping off in Great Barrington for this hike! Mt. Greylock is next on my list.
Ok, back to the eats. Thanks for sticking with me through the weekend recap!
My desire to bake has been in overdrive lately. The cooler weather serves as a strong motivation for cranking up the oven and spending an afternoon in the kitchen. I have an ever-growing list of muffins, cookies, and breads to make, but settled on an adapted version of a date and nut bread from Boston.com.
I subbed in sweet potato puree for the butter and an equal ratio of whole wheat pastry flour and white whole wheat flour for all-purpose. I also cut the 1 cup of sweetener called for in the original recipe down to 1/4 cup. The Medjool dates and sweet potato puree lent a good amount of natural sweetness, which was complemented by a modest amount of maple syrup and brown sugar.
John described the bread as “dessert-y”, though it is hearty enough to incorporate into a healthy breakfast or snack. The bread is moist, soft, sweet, and rife with autumnal flavors. The pockets of chewy dates and nuggets of crunchy walnuts provide a lovely textural contrast. The bread is simply divine when served warm and slathered with a bit of butter or nut butter, but would also be delicious accompanied by a sweet spread such as pumpkin butter or jam.