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Date Braided Coffee Cake (Makes 2 coffee cakes)

This is the quickest way to braid a filled coffee cake that I’ve tried. The chilled dough handles very well. Your efforts will be rewarded by the compliments you get from family and friends.

1 cup fat free milk scalded
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (110-120 degrees)
1 egg
4 to 4 and 1/2 cups flour

1 and 1/2 cups chopped dates
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons fat free milk

1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.Combine milk, sugar, salt and butter or margarine;  cool to lukewarm.

2. Sprinkle yeast into water;  stir till dissolved.  Add to milk mixture.

3. Add egg and half of the flour to milk mixture.  Beat with electric mixer until smooth.  Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter.  Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

4. Combine dates, brown sugar, water, walnuts and lemon juice in saucepan.  Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Continue cooking till mixture is thick enough to spread---about 8 minutes.  Cool date mixture to room temperature.

5. Divide dough in half.  Roll each half into 8x14-inch rectangle on a pastry cloth.

6. Place dough on parchment paper lined or greased cookie sheet.  Spread half of the cooled date filling down the center third of each rectangle.

7. Cut 12 slits, about 1-inch wide in dough along each side of filling. (A kitchen scissors works beautifully.)   Fold strips at an angle across filling, alternating from side to side.

8. Cover lightly with oiled plastic wrap.  Let rise in warm place till dough is double in bulk, about 2 hours.

9. Beat together with whisk the egg yolk and milk.  Brush dough with mixture.

10. Use a pastry blender or fork to combine flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon for Topping. Sprinkle half on each coffee cake.

11. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 30-35 minutes until golden brown.


Nutritional Information per serving:
(Each coffee cake should serve 12)
220 calories, 7 grams fat, 4 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 31 milligrams cholesterol, 136 milligrams sodium