• Leigh

Sourdough Discard Day: Make Date-Rye Bread


Not having fed my rye-based starter in over a week, I had a very, very, hungry yeast beast with quite a tangy scent. To tame some of the "sourness," I decided to make a bread with some natural sweetness to it--Date-Rye Bread. The bread includes brown sugar and molasses, but it also is studded with moist bits of caramel-sweet dates. Walnuts add crunch and a touch of bitterness. I used a rye-based starter and a cup of rye flour, giving the bread a deep, earthy, complex flavor as well as extra moistness. Nonetheless, I also included all-purpose flour, which keeps the bread from being too dense. The bread is just sweet enough, slices well, and is great toasted alongside tea or your morning coffee.

Sourdough Date-Rye Bread -- Makes 1 Loaf

1 cup of starter (preferably rye, but use what you have)

1 cup of water

1 cup of rye flour

1/4 cup of canola oil

1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

1/4 cup of molasses

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of allspice

1/2 cup of chopped dates

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (preferably toasted, but I don't always bother)

1-2 tablespoons of tubinado (raw) sugar

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the starter and water and blend them. Add the rye flour, canola oil, brown sugar, and molasses. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour, if possible, then stir in the all-purpose flour, salt, allspice, dates, and walnuts and mix everything well. A wooden spoon and some muscle is all you need for the mixing (i.e., no need to haul out a mixer). Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour the batter/dough into the pan, smoothing it out as much as you can. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the turbinado sugar, pressing it into the batter a bit. Dust on the cinnamon. Spritz the top of the sugared batter with non-stick cooking spray and coat one side of a piece of plastic wrap big enough to fit over the loaf with spray. Place the sprayed side down over the batter, covering it loosely. Let the batter/dough rise until about double or until it crests the top of the pan. This may take 4-8 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the bread for 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature registers about 190 degrees and/or a pick comes out clean. If you mix up your bread in the evening, it probably will be ready to bake at bed time. Don't. Stick it in the refrigerator, and it will be fine. Just bring it to room temperature the next day, let it rise a bit more if necessary, and then bake it. It will be great!

#sourdoughbread #dates #walnuts

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