Braided Date Bread, A Guest Post and an Announcement!

Hello my dear friends! Thought it was time to let you all know that Baby #2 arrived safe and sound last Tuesday night! And SHE is perfectly beautiful, and a tiny 6 pounds 11 ounces and 20.5 inches long. We are definitely all in love over here, including Ladybug who is thoroughly enjoying her Big Sister role. 
I am going to take a little bit of time off to get acclimated to now being a mommy of two and loving and enjoying my new daughter, but I have quite a few awesome guest posts lined up for you from some dear friends of mine! I hope you enjoy them! 

Hello Everyone, my name is Sawsan and it is my pleasure to be a guest at Jenni’s blog today. I came to know Jenni through the Daring Kitchen. She hosted a few amazing challenges like povitica  and homemade sausages. She stood out as one of those people who are extra nice and helpful. She always has something sweet and supportive to say. Her passion shines through every challenge.
Jenni is due to have a baby any day now and when she asked me to write a guest post for her blog while she takes some time off. I couldn’t be happier to help. Since Jenni shares my passion for baking I thought I would share a bread recipe.

This braided bread is quick and easy to make which makes it a great choice  for when you are tight on time and can’t make individual pastries. The fact that this bread is stuffed makes it versatile. Depending on the stuffing it can make for a great lunch, dessert or sliced up it can be a wonderful appetizer for a party. It is faster and easier than making individualized portions and the best part is: the possibilities for the stuffing are endless. To get your creative juices running here are a few stuffing suggestions:
Triple cheese stuffed bread: combine cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack.
Mediterranean cheese: Feta, cheddar and Halloumi cheese with mint
Want a vegetarian version: try spinach and sautéed onions
Feeling like something sweet: some softened butter and cinnamon
Not into too much butter but still into something sweet: try stuffing it with date paste with cinnamon and cardamom

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (57 gram) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (50 gram) white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams)salt
  • 3 1/4 tp 3 1/2 cups ( 416-448 gram) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) dry yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram)cardamom optional
  • For topping
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of milk
  • 1 tablespoon (14 gm)sugar
  • 500g pitted dates
  • 4 tablespoons butter (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoom cardamom (optional)


To prepare the stuffing:
Knead the dates with butter, cinnamon and cardamom until you get a smooth soft ball. if you have a little trouble place all the ingredients in a pot and heat it gently while kneading with a wooden spoon. The heat will help soften the dates
If your dates are a little dry pre-soak then in hot water for 10-15 minutes then drain them and add the butter and spices.
In a bowl whisk the egg with milk, water, sugar, butter and yeast.
Set aside
In another bowl sift the flour with the salt and the cardamom.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead until you get a smooth dough.
Place it in a bowl you have brushed with some oil and cover it with a wet cloth and leave it in a warm place to double
(If you are tight on time you can heat your oven to 200 C then turn it off and place your dough in a glass bowl and place it in the warm (turned off) oven with the wet cloth covering the bowl)
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface
Roll into a rectangle
Roll the date filling between two plastic bags
Transfer the date filling on to the rolled dough, make sure that the size of the the date rectangle leaves 1 inch (2.5cm) margin all around

Roll the dough from the long side into a tube form, pinch the side-seam closed.
Cut the dough tube in half down the length of the dough tube.

Place the halfs side-by-side, quickly braid the two together, keeping the open ended parts on top.
Pinch the ends together,  at this stage you can shape the bread into a wreath, securing both ends together. or you can leave it as a braid.
Transfer to a parchment-lined or cornmeal-dusted baking sheet, or a pizza stone.
Loosely cover the top with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes. It should rise a bit more during this time.
 During this time you would heat your oven to 270C (500F) (rack in the middle)
Bake for 5 minutes on 270C (500F) then lower the temperature to 200 C (400 F) and cook for 15-20 more minutes (ovens do differ greatly, so the time may differ..what you want is to bake it until the under side is golden brown) turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes until it is golden brown on top

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  • Reply
    September 24, 2013 at 9:11 PM


  • Reply
    September 24, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Congratulations! I was wondering when the big announcement would come…

    and to have Sawsan as your first guest blogger, WOW, you started with pure gold!

    again, congratulations! Wonderful news….

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    YAAAAAAY!! I have been waiting for this announcement 😀 So glad she arrived safe and sound! All the best for you and your family as you get to know your little one!

    Sawsan, this bread looks wonderful! I love the sound of all the fillings, and that bold swirl in the bread is just beautiful.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Congratulations Jenni 🙂
    I love your blog, see you around and at next Sourdough Surprises 🙂

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Jenni Congratulations!!
    Your little angel is super cute!
    Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog.
    Please take good care of yourself and your little angels

  • Reply
    Lail Hossain
    September 25, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    Congratulations on the arrival of your baby. Hoping over from Sawsan's blog. The bread looks delicious.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    She's beautiful, Jenni. Congratulations!

    Love the bread recipe, Sawsan. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Congratulations on the birth of your second daughter! My second little boy (and third baby) arrived yesterday. Enjoy getting to know each other.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Sawsan, that bread looks awesome and I have some date paste left over from making Ma'mools. Such a good use of it. Congratulations to Jenni on the arrival of her beautiful daughter.

  • Reply
    Created by Hannah Grunzke
    September 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Congratulations, Jenni!! And thank you, Sawsan, for the post! I will be trying this with a sweet butter and cinnamon filling 🙂

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    This bread is calling my name… loudly… insistently. I'm still hobbling around on crutches for a few days longer, but can't wait to try a savory version of your braided loaf.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Congratulations on a new baby – she's beautiful. I found you from Sawsan but I'll be back!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Popped over via Sawsan's blog and wow, what a gorgeous recipe. Even more gorgeous baby though – congrats to you all!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Hi, found you via Sawsan's blog. Your baby is adorable, congratulations. And wow, this recipe: to die for! Love it! Thank you for sharing Sawsan.

  • Reply
    Cher Rockwell
    September 28, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Congratulations on the new addition!
    Beautiful guest post by Sawsan

  • Reply
    September 30, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Congratulations on your lovely little girl. I hope mom and daughter are doing well.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Congratulations! She is soooo gorgeous!

    my niece in Brazil had her baby boy yesterday, so I am 6 thousand miles away and having to be happy just with photos and emails…

    he is quite a bit smaller than your baby girl, though…

    Hope to see photos coming in your blog soon!

  • Reply
    CJ Huang
    October 26, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Congrats! Gonna have to try this date bread. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 2:17 AM

    Congratulations on the birth of your second daughter! I'm visiting from Sawsun's blog and delighted to see this yummy recipe. Best wishes!

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