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The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dates Bread- كعكة بالتمر

Dates Bread is called, خبز بالتمر اوالكعك بالتمر

The dough is sticky

This is a delicious sweet bread that goes well with afternoon tea or breakfast. Once you  make this bread, you would not want to buy bread from the grocery store!
You can use majdool date or pressed dates for baking, which you can find at Middle Eastern grocery stores. This recipe does not require a lot of kneading
1 tablespoon yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter,melted
3 eggs
4 tablespoons powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground fennel, optional
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
Egg wash and one tablespoon sesame seeds

Prepare the date mixture by sautéing one pound of dates with a tablespoon of butter. Add ground cardamom and cinnamon for flavoring and mix. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, put the yeast and add the sugar and warm water and stir. when the yeast becomes foamy add the butter, eggs, salt, and stir. Gradually, add the flour as you stir. Add fennel and nigella seeds and stir. The dough will be rather sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a floured board. Knead the dough for 2 minutes .Cover with a dish towel to  to rest for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.
Use a rolling pin to roll out each piece of dough to make 6x3  inches. Roll the dates to make a the date rope on the dough and fold the dough over the date rope. And pinch the edges to seal . Attach both ends to make a ring. Make a few cuts  around the ring. Place on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the dough with a towel and place in a warm area in the kitchen to rise for 1 hour.
Uncover the dough and brush the top of the rings with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Bake in a 375 degrees F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and leave it on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove bread and place on a wire rack to cool.


  1. I am planning to make this with my kids but it doesn't list the quantity for the dates. Could you clarify? Thanks for your blog! It has been very helpful as we try middle eastern dishes to correspond with our geography studies.

    1. one pound of dates as indicated in the description.