If there ever came a day where I had to pick something over a cinnamon roll, this bread would be the only thing to come into consideration. This is one of my favourite stuffed breads and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since I was a kid! 🙂
These are basically a super soft sweet roll type bread rolled around what can only be called “the best filling on earth!” A delicious buttery date paste. I’m so happy that I learned how to make them at home as they taste even better than from the bakeries 😉
Start by making and rising the bread dough, all simple ingredients; water, eggs, sugar, some yeast, flour, salt and a splash of vanilla. You can use milk instead of water for a milk bread date roll, both ways are wonderful 🙂
As the dough is rising, prepare the date filling. It needs to be completely cooled before you fill the rolls.
You just take some dates, any kind will work, remove the pits then food process them into a paste. Blitz in an egg yolk to help bind everything together then this gets cooked with some butter. Puhhlease try not to eat all this filling while it cools 😉 😉
Divide the dough, stuff the breads, roll and cover to proof. I actually had to make this bread a couple of times to get it right because at first I filled and rolled the dough like a cinnamon roll but when I baked the loaf this way, the middles wouldn’t cook through completely. I really don’t like doughy middles so to remedy this I rolled the dough as I do when making strombolis, there’s some step by step pics on how to shape them there so be sure to check out that post.
Brush these bad boys with some melted butter or an egg wash and bake away!
Prepare to be wow-ed my friends! 😉 make sure to eat these warm, even once they’re cooled just pop em in the microwave for a few seconds 🙂 the effort is totally worth it!
I don’t usually cut them like this, I just tear a piece (more like a large chunk 😉 ) off and gobble it down! 😀
Date Log Bread
Makes 2 to 3 loaves.
- 1/2 cup/125mls warm water (milk can be used instead)
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1/2 cup/100gms sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons/50gms softened butter
- 3 3/4 – 4 cups/450 – 500gms flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
For the filling
- 250gms dates
- 1 egg yolk
- 6 tablespoons/65gms butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional/ chopped walnuts
For the wash
- Melted butter
- Optional/ glaze 1/2 cup/60gms icing sugar + 1 tablespoon milk or cream
- In a large bowl, add the warm water, yeast and about a tablespoon of the sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes until thickened.
- Once thickened and foamy, add the rest of the sugar, eggs, vanilla and butter and whisk to combine. The butter won’t mix in completely which is fine.
- Whisk together about 3 1/2 cups of flour with the salt and add about half of this amount to the liquids. Whisk fast until combined and smooth. Switch to the dough hook (or wooden spoon if kneading by hand) and add in the rest of the flour in small increments until a soft dough forms. Knead for about 5 minutes (10 by hand) adding a little more flour if needed until dough is soft, elastic and slightly sticky. Don’t add too much extra flour as dough should be soft.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap then allow to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- While dough is rising prepare the filling. Remove pits from the dates and food process into a paste. Add in the egg yolk and blitz to combine. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter then add the date paste. Stir using a wooden spoon until completely combined. It may take a minute or two of constant stirring, at first mixture will loosen and separate then it will come together as a soft, thick and smooth paste. Take off the heat then stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool completely before using. Use any left over butter that may seep out to brush the loaves before baking.
- Once dough has doubled, punch down then divide into 2 or 3 balls. Roll each ball into an 11 × 3 inch rectangle. Spread some of the date filling across half of the dough, length wise. Take the empty half of the dough and fold over the filled side to cover and tuck the flap under, stromboli style. Make sure the closing seam is on the bottom of the log. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Place each log on a floured baking tray and cover again to rise until puffy, about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 200C. Score 3 slits across the tops of each loaf using a sharp serrated knife then brush with melted butter or the egg wash. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and cooked through. Check by making sure the undersides are golden brown in colour. Broil the tops if needed.
- Brush tops of each loaf with butter as soon as they’re out of the oven then spoon on the glaze if using.
This bread is best served warm and can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Hadias Lebanese Cuisine.