Date & Walnut Bread

I made bread again today, there is nothing like the smell of home-made bread coming from the Kitchen.

I decided to be more adventurous and make wholemeal bread this time, then when I was in the home baking aisle of the supermarket I suddenly thought…why not add dates and walnuts to it too!! Whitworths do chopped Dates and Walnuts in a packet which I thought would be perfect.

To speed up the process I use Allinson Easy Bake Yeast, I also used the recipe for basic bread off the side of the tin. Today however I have tweaked it slightly…hopefully it will turn out!!

Before making my bread I had a look at a BBC Video on Kneading, as last time I don’t think I kneaded by bread properly/or long enough as it was a bit dense! So hopefully this time there will be some improvement on last time.


My Ingredients


Here the dough had been left to rise for about 15 minutes – looking good!

Here is the recipe, as mentioned this is the basic bread recipe from the tin of Easy Bake Yeast (I cannot take credit for it!), however I omitted the sugar as I thought the sugar from the dates would be enough to sweeten the dough.



500g Strong Wholemeal Flour
1½ tsp Salt
15g Soft Butter or 15ml Vegetable Oil
7g Easy Bake Yeast
Approx. 300ml Warm Water (1 part boiling, 2 parts cold)
Dates and Walnuts (I used about 70g but you can add more or less to suit your taste)


Add the flour and salt to a large bowl, stir in the yeast, then rub in the butter (I used oil and stir it in). Add enough water and mix to form a soft dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for up to 10 minutes – or until smooth and elastic. I then kneaded in the Dates and Walnuts until they were well mixed.

Shape the dough on a baking tray (or you can put it in a tin), cover and leave to rise in a warm place until dough is doubled in size for 30 to 45 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 230°/gas mark 8.

Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven to 200°/gas mark 6 and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, or until bread is risen and golden brown.



Well I have to say it tasted as good as it looked! I am very impressed with how it came out, especially as I didn’t follow a recipe specific for this combination. There is still room for improvement on the kneading front, however it was much better than my first attempt. I will definitely try out more new ingredients in the future.

What other types of bread do you make, and does anyone use a bread maker ? Are they any good, or is the traditional way the best?

Emma x


Christmas Cake…Iced and Decorated!

I baked my cake back in November (link to post). It is now time to ice and decorate it!

I cheated a little with the marzipan, I bought Dr Oetkers ready rolled marzipan! It is pre-rolled just the right size for an 8″ round cake.


However when it came to the icing I made my own Royal Icing, although I nearly caved in and bought Royal Icing Sugar! I used Mary Berrys recipe and I must say it came out lovely and white. I decided not to do anything fancy so rather than making it smooth I did it rough, like it was snow.


I couldn’t find any decorations for the top so just used some holly and berry sprinkles, I was going to attempt to pipe ‘Merry Christmas’ on the top but didn’t have a small enough nozzle!!! I also dusted on some Gold Lustre and added a red ribbon. I know it isn’t anything spectacular but I am very happy with it, especially as I didn’t have an awful lot of time to spend on it.


I just hope it tastes as good as it looks!

Christmas Cake

I made my Christmas cake today!

I used the recipe from the Disney Sweets and Cakes Collection, which I have subscribed to. I love looking at all the fantastic cakes, wishing I could make them!

I soaked my fruit in Brandy overnight, so the fruit was all juicy and plump. I also added extra glacé cherries as I love them so much!

Here is the finished cake


I am going to ‘feed’ it with brandy for a few weeks then decorate it…I haven’t decided how yet though!