Date Bread Braid with Cinnamon
- For the dough
- ½ cube fresh Yeast (21 grams)
- 75 grams sugar
- 175 milliliters lukewarm milk
- 500 grams Pastry flour
- 60 grams soft butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 pinch salt
- Pastry flour (for the work surface)
- For the filling
- 100 grams finely chopped almonds
- 200 grams Date
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 packet Vanilla sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 generous pinch ground Cardamom
- 4 tablespoons milk
For the dough, crumble the yeast into a small cup and stir until smooth with 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Put the flour in a bowl, make a well in the center and pour in yeast mixure. Dust with some of the flour and leave covered for about 15 minutes.
Mix in the remaining milk, sugar, butter, eggs and salt to taste. Knead well to a smooth dough. Use a little more or less milk as needed. Cover and let rise about 40 minutes in a warm place until the volume of the dough has doubled.
For the filling, chop almonds finely. Finely dice dates. Mix almonds and dates with the sugar, vanilla sugar, egg white, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir in the milk to form a spreadable paste.
Knead the dough again vigorously, divide on a floured surface into 3 equal pieces and shape each piece into a rectangle about 30 x 40 cm (approximately 12 x 16 inches). Spread 1/3 of the filling on top, leaving a 1.5 cm (approximately 1/2-inch) wide edge free. Brush edge with a little water, roll up the rectangles with the filling from the long side and compress the seams and ends. Then braid the rolls together into a braided loaf. Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let rise another 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (approximately 350°F) convection. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water and brush the braid. Bake in the oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Remove from the sheet and allow to cool. To ice the braid, mix powdered sugar with the lemon juice. If necessary add a little water so that the icing is not too thick. Spread the icing on the braid and allow to dry thoroughly before serving.