Black Walnut Date Yeast Bread, a favorite holiday recipe with exotic spices, ancient dates, and American Black Walnuts for a twist in flavor.
Middle Eastern Date Recipes
Long before a date nut quick bread became popular here in America, recipes from the Middle East have been stuffing dates in their breads, pastries and cookies for centuries.
Which, having grown up with a first generation Syrian mom, classic Middle Eastern recipes were always prepared in my home.
A favorite childhood cookie wasn’t chocolate chips, it was Maamoul, a date filled cookie with exotic flavors in the cookie dough.
Of course we always stuffed our Baklawa/Baklava with chopped walnuts, but pressing dates into a paste, along with walnuts wrapped in phyllo dough, was also a childhood favorite.
Date Yeast Bread Recipe With An American Twist
However, it was Christmas time when I created this brunch bread recipe, in which I might otherwise have used regular walnuts.
Since Black Walnuts are only available from October through December; Black Walnuts became my American twist on a classic Middle Eastern date nut bread recipe.
The first time I ever tasted black walnuts, I knew I had stumbled onto a nut so uniquely different from all other nuts.
I first encountered them in the black walnut cookies my Swedish grandmother made.
A Delicious Recipe For A Brunch Spread
I can think of a gazillion reasons why we need a holiday breakfast bread for brunch, starting with ‘Just Because’!
Do we gather for brunch everyday?
No, we gather for brunch for special occasions and for lingered moments with special people.
Especially for these reasons, don’t you think we need delicious sweet breads to go along with a carefully planned menu?
Black Walnut Yeast Bread
Pairing the dates, which remind me of an ancient Middle Eastern fruit, with black walnuts, made the bread seem extra special, exotic if you will.
Having family come home to stay for the holidays, always means a lingering brunch with some of my favorite recipes.
It isn’t often that we get to spoil our family once they grow up and no longer live at home, so a Brunch Bread seemed like a way to spoil them at home.
Where To Get Wild Black Walnuts
Luckily, recently in life, I have discovered a wild black walnut tree in the wooded area behind my home.
Since I rarely find black walnuts in the store, except for the months surrounding the winter holidays, I knew I had to create a bread recipe with them.
What nuts remain, will be crushed into a walnut flour and stored in my freezer, which is something I also do with chestnuts when they are available this same time of year.
So, if you see wild black walnuts in the store October through December, buy up several bags and freeze for a year of fabulous recipes.
Classic Black Walnut And Date Yeast Bread
Oat flour added to the all purpose flour in this yeast bread recipe is just my way of adding another element of healthy excuses to indulge in this delicious holiday bread.
Certainly we know that oat flour is loaded with a healthy RDI (recommended daily intake), of manganese and phosphorus.
However, I like the added texture the oat flour gives to the dough aspect of this bread.
Having a hearty yeast bread dough, helps add substance to carry the nuts and dates in the filling.
Yeast Bread Recipe Got You Worried?
Yes, this is a yeast bread, but don’t let that scare you. Working with yeast dough is not much different than playing with Play Doh.
The only trick you need to remember when mixing the dough is to add enough flour so the dough is no longer sticky.
It rises in about 90 minutes and bakes in 20 minutes.
An added video to example working with any basic yeast bread dough is in the recipe card below.
Other Brunch Bread Recipes To Love
When I was in my teens, I first learned how to make yeast breads. What a game changer that was for me.
Once I realized that yeast bread is nothing more than some type of flour and liquid, squished together into a dough, there was no limit to what I would make.
Why? I realized the the yeast does all the work, all I have to do is mix it! Here are just a few of my favorites.
- Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Bread – is a delicate tea made from butterfly pea flowers, then the tea is the base for a purple and white bread.
- Beetroot Spinach Bread Braid – is a delicious, healthy, showstopper of beetroot with garlic dough and spinach with lemon dough, braided together.
- Cranberry Almond Yeast Bread – is made from fresh cranberries, crushed almonds, orange zest and cardamom, risen and baked into a beautiful bread!
- Spelt Potato Bread – is an easy to rise, rustic yet dense bread, easily sliced into a sandwich bread.
How To Make Black Walnut Date Brunch Bread
This bread is really easy to make, once you get over the apprehension of working with yeast dough.
First the dough is assembled, and because of the eggs, sugar and crushed nuts, the dough rises quickly.
Once the dough rises and becomes double in size, simply roll it out, lay chopped dates and black walnuts on top of the dough.
Roll it up and bake the loaf until golden in color.
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon – which I find works better with yeast dough than metal
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Food processor or blender – to grind the nuts and oats
- Baking sheet pan
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Basting brush – for the egg wash glaze
- Milk – your choice
- Black walnuts
- Oat flour – or oats to grind
- All purpose flour
Black Walnut Date Yeast Bread Recipe
- Date-Nut Bread Recipe Makes – 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves
- 10 Dates pitted and rough chopped
- 1/4 cup Rum, Brandy or strong cup of tea
- 1 cup Milk your choice
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 2 Eggs one for dough one for egg wash
- 2 tsp Fresh Yeast or instant quick rise
- 1 1/2 cups Black walnuts 1 cup rough chopped, 1/2 cup crushed to a powder
- 1/2 cup Oat flour crushed rolled oats
- 3 cups All purpose flour more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- In a small bowl, place the chopped dates and rum or tea to soak and soften. Set aside.
- Place sugar, 1/2 cup milk and sugar in a small saucepan on low to dissolve the sugar. Add the butter and stir until you have melted butter. Remove from the stove and add remaining milk and let the mixture cool to room temperature, or check with a food thermometer so temperature is no hotter than 115 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, food processor or mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add cooled milk mixture and yeast. Allow this mixture to sit 5-minutes to dissolve the years. Add one egg and stir.
- Stir in 1/2 cup crushed black walnuts, oat flour, cardamom and salt, stir to incorporate. Slowly stir in 2 cups of flour until it becomes stiff. If working with your hands, work in the remaining flour until it is no longer sticky. If working with a mixer, allow the paddle to run on medium speed while slowly adding flour until it is no longer sticky. If working with a food processor, add flour until the dough comes together into a ball and is no longer sticky to the touch.
- Transfer to a clean bowl in which the sides of the bowl and bottom have been slightly oiled. Place the dough into the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and place the bowl in a warm place to rise, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet or a strip of parchment paper in bread pans.
- On a floured surface, roll out the risen dough to a rectangle. Squeeze excess liquid from the soaked dates and spread evenly across the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of rough chopped black walnuts across the dough, leaving the edges free of dates and nuts. Roll the dough, with dates and nuts inside, into a log. Transfer to prepared baking pan, or loaf pans.
- Whisk the remaining egg until light and well blended and brush it liberally over the top and sides of the rolled date walnut bread dough.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top. Transfer to a cooling rack so that all sides can cool and form a firm crust. Cut thin slices with a sharp knife. Store remaining bread in plastic wrap or an airtight container for the next day.