Jun 16, 2016

Bran Bread with Dates and Toasted Walnuts

Bran Bread with Dates and Toasted Walnuts

This month, the Bread Baking Babes are making Bran Bread. The original recipe comes from the book Pane e Roba Dolce from the Italian sisters Margherita and Valeria Simili, and was chosen by Lien of Notitie van Lien.
This Bran Bread with Dates and Toasted Walnuts reminds me of the "hippie" days when it was considered both "healthy" and kind of exotic to eat whole wheat, bran, and wheat germ. Bran was "roughage" to aid in digestion, if you know what I mean.

Bran Bread with Dates and Toasted Walnuts

This bread is 100 percent whole wheat. In addition, it also includes even more bran.

The key to turning out a nice moist loaf of bread (and not a brick) with 100 percent whole wheat plus more bran is to soak the bran and the added fruit and nuts in water.

While I did not quite get the "lift" that I wanted with this bread, I was very happy with the flavor. It makes an excellent breakfast toast with butter.

Lien added raisins and walnuts to her loaves. Instead of the raisins, I used chopped dates. Any dried fruit will work just fine.

Bran Bread


(makes 2 small or 1 large loaf)

Ingredients

7 grams of instant yeast
380 grams water 
500 grams whole wheat flour
50 grams wheat bran soaked in 100 grams of water
1 tablespoon barley malt flour or honey
30 grams olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
50 grams dried milk powder
100 grams toasted walnuts
100 grams chopped dates

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, water, flour, soaked bran, barley malt flour, olive oil, salt, and milk powder. Stir the ingredients to moisten, cover, and let rest for about 10 minutes. 
  2. Knead the dough with the dough hook for about 7 minutes, adding flour or water to adjust the moistness of the dough. The finally dough should be tacky, but not sticky. 
  3. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for about 1 hour.
  4. While the dough is rising, soak the dates and walnuts for about 30 minutes in water. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel and leave them on a paper towel to dry a little further. 
  5. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and press or roll it out flat in a big oval. Divide ⅔ of the nuts and dates over the dough, fold the dough in two, press or roll out again and sprinkle on the remaining nuts/dates. Roll the dough (jelly roll style) and divide in two. 
  6. Shape each half of the dough into a loaf and place into an oiled 4 inch by 8 inch loaf pan.
  7. Cover each loaf with lightly greased plastic plastic. 
  8. Let rise for about 45 minutes to one hour. Check if it's ready to bake by pressing a floured finger in the dough, it the dent springs back, leave it to rise longer, if the dent doesn't disappear, it's ready to bake.
  9. Preheat your oven (preferably with an oven stone and a steam pan on the lowest rack of the oven) to 400 degrees F.
  10. Slash the dough and put the loaves in the oven (on the stone if you have it), pour some water in the steam pan to create steam and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Check the temperature of the bread (200ºF) to be sure it is done.
  11. De-pan the loaves and cool them completely on a wire rack.

Who are the Babes? We get together each month and "virtually" bake a bread recipe chosen the kitchen of the month. This month, the Bread Baking Babes are making Bran Bread, chosen by Notitie van Lien. Check out the results of the rest of the Babes who also baked this loaf.

A Messy Kitchen - Kelly
Blog from OUR Kitchen - Elizabeth
Bake My Day - Karen

Bran Bread with Dates and Toasted Walnuts

20 comments:

  1. Looks pretty tasty to me! I think the lift is hard with whole wheat, so taste takes the front seat, which is not a bad thing at all!

    I need to start baking bread again.... I need to do this, to do that, I need a day with more hours. many more... (sigh)

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    1. I know what you mean. I have a very long list of things I need to do!

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  2. Loft in ww is notoriously difficult I think. Still your bread totally looks lofty and airy. Love the dates in it

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  3. It looks perfect!!

    And Karen Baking Soda is right. Loft in ww is notoriously difficult. At least it is for me.

    Great idea to add dates!

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  4. Your crumb is so beautiful!! I am wondering if I need to start slicing with a chef knife instead of a serrated bread knife to make my slices look prettier. I love the way your center slash looks and the color is just gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you Kelly! I actually do use a serrated bread knife. It's a Forschner and I love it.

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  5. I think you got a great rise for a whole grain loaf. I bet the combination of dates and walnuts was really good. I really like the collage. I need to borrow that idea. :)

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    1. I finally succumbed to the Pinterest "long pin" thing. I resisted forever. Thanks Cathy!

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  6. I remember those days - I never did get into the wheat germ... Your bread looks delicious - and perfect with red wine and cheese. I think I have a one-track mind LOL

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    1. All we need are Earth Shoes. Right? Thanks so much Katie! I'm with you on the wine and cheese.

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  7. Looks like a nice rise and crumb to me and doubly so when you know all that whole wheat flour topped with bran.
    I think I even wrote any dried fruit but it was only reading yours that blue berries came into my head. Must bake this again!
    Hippies, yes those were the days.

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    1. They were weren't they Tanna? All we need is tie dye!

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  8. A wonderful loaf, it looks so light in colour!! Did you use white whole wheat? (I wish that would be available here) or is that because you used oat bran? You say you didn't get the lift you liked, but your loaf really looks airy and well risen to me.Love the dates in it (I'm thinking dried figs now as well) Well done!

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    1. Hi Lien, I actually used "regular" whole wheat. Thanks so much for such kind encouragement!!

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  9. Thanks for the simple, beautiful load recipe. I was wondering though if the walnuts don't lose their crunch if you soak them.

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    1. I think the idea for soaking them was to keep them from absorbing too much water from the bread while baking. They didn't seem to soften from the water. You could probably skip that step and be just fine.

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    2. Thank you Karen. Will try this and let you know!

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  10. Your beautiful bread looks like it has the perfect crumb...not easy with lots of bran added, plus love the dates instead of raisins and it has gorgeous color on the crust. Just lovely!

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I love comments and questions and read every one of them.