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Date Whole Wheat Bread
15 pitted dates
1 1/2 c cold water
2 c warm water
2 tbs dry, active yeast
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 c vegetable oil
1/4 c raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
3 tbs soy flour
1/4 c gluten flour
2 c spelt flour
1 c whole wheat flour
4-6 c bread flour

Bring the dates and water to a boil. Let sit for about 15 minutes, and then mash. Remove any pit fragments that may exist. In a huge mixing bowl combine the warm water, yeast and one quarter of the date mixture. Let this sit until the yeast foams and bubbles. Add salt, oil, sunflower seeds, rest of the dates, soy flour, gluten,
spelt and whole wheat flour. Beat the mixture vigorously for about 100 strokes. Add more flour, approximately 1 cup at a time and keep beating into the dough after each addition, until it becomes too difficult to mix with a spoon. Then, dusting your hands with some of the flour, start to knead the dough, adding about 1/2 cup of flour each time, until dough is smooth and elastic. Turn the dough, seam side down, in the bowl, and cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise in a warm, humid place until doubled in bulk. This takes roughly an hour or so. In the meantime, prepare 2 bread pans by brushing soy lecithin oil. Dust with just a small amount of cornmeal
or quick oatmeal flakes. When the dough has risen, punch it down, and knead it a few times. Divide the dough exactly in half, and shape it into loaves. Place each loaf in a pan, and let it rise for 1/2 hour, covered with the dishtowel. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and then bake the loaves for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, and turn the loaves out of the pans. Let the loaves cool completely before bagging them or storing them.
Recipe featured in Bread Daily on 11/24/01.