Coffee sourdough bread flavored with espresso and maple infused dates. Sounds good, right?
It really is as good as it sounds. The coffee adds richness and color, while the dates add a sweetness which brings balance to this coffee sourdough bread.
Sourdough bread has such a distinct taste and texture - it really is like nothing else on Earth. But what if I told you, you could take that taste to the next level - sourdough bread with coffee and maple infused dates. Yes you read that right - it tastes as incredible as it sounds!
This sourdough bread has a crisp, chewy crust and a soft, fluffy inside. It's a sweet sourdough - although the final flavor profile will really depend on your starter and the flour you use.
How To Make Coffee Infused Sourdough Bread
Coffee sourdough bread uses coffee as the hydrating liquid rather than just water. In this case, the liquid is a mixture of strong espresso, maple syrup and water.
There's also sugars from the dates which have been soaked in the coffee and maple. Delicious!
The process of making this uniquely flavored sourdough bread is not dissimilar to regular sourdough bread.
It involves using the coffee to hydrate the dough and then adding in the rehydrated dates during the stretches and folds.
The process for making sourdough bread with coffee and maple infused dates is as follows:
- Soak dried and pitted dates in hot espresso and maple syrup.
- Mix the water and starter together.
- Add the flour, salt and liquid from the soaked dates (this brings up the liquid to 350g or above).
- Autolyse the dough.
- Create structure by forming up the dough.
- Stretch and fold the dough to develop gluten while adding in the dates.
- Bulk fermentation.
- Shape the dough and place into the banneton.
- Cold retard for at least 5 hours.
- Score and bake!
If you need to create a sourdough starter (which you'll need for this bread) you'll find simple instructions here.
Serving Ideas for Sourdough Bread with Coffee & Maple Infused Dates
Sourdough bread with coffee & maple infused dates is amazing served warm with good quality butter.
It’s also super tasty toasted, smeared with vanilla cream cheese and drizzled with maple syrup.
It will make a delicious addition to any cheeseboard - it's made for sharp, crumbly cheddar.
If you prefer a plain sourdough loaf, you'll find a simple recipe here.
Soaking the Dried Dates
I use a shot of hot coffee and add the maple syrup to this. I then add the dates and let them sit for about an hour. You can certainly leave them longer but I find an hour is enough.
Make sure you use dried and pitted dates - NOT Medjool dates. You can find dried and pitted dates in the baking aisle at most supermarkets - they are pretty cheap, around $2 a bag. I buy these from Aldi.
I add the infusing liquid to the water when doing the initial autolyse. The dates are added at the final stretch and fold.
The coffee flavour is quite subtle, however if you don't like coffee, you could substitute good quality vanilla paste dissolved in hot water in place of the coffee.
This recipe uses Vital Wheat Gluten - you can read about what this is and where to find it here.
I haven’t overpowered the sourdough with dates. I add around 30 dates, as well as the infusing liquid.
If you want it to be sweeter you could add more dates but if you change the liquid amounts you will get a different texture.
As mentioned above, the final flavour of this loaf will depend on your starter profile, as well as the flour you use.
I have baked this with 100g of Rye and 400g of Baker's flour and it's been amazing, so you can certainly play with some flour combinations too.
If you love this recipe, you might like to try these ideas:
- Want to bake the ultimate sourdough fruit bread? Try this sourdough cinnamon raisin bread.
- Love the flavor of dates? Try this sourdough discard cake with dates and lemon drizzle.
- You'll find some useful tips on improving your oven spring here.
Sourdough Bread with Coffee & Maple Infused Dates
- Mixing Bowl
- Digital Scales
- Dutch Oven
- 30 g Coffee strong espresso
- 20 g Maple Syrup
- 30 Dates dried, pitted
- 50 g Sourdough Starter active and fed
- 320 g Water
- 500 g Bread Flour
- 10 g Salt
- 25 g Vital Wheat Gluten optional
- Before You Start - Prepare the Dates:An hour before you start mixing this sourdough, you need to prepare the dates. Put your dates into a small bowl and cover them with: 30mls of hot espresso coffee and 20mls of Maple syrup. Stir them around so all the dates are covered. Cover with cling wrap and put aside until you need them (these can be made the day before if you want, but as long as they sit for an hour they will be fine).
- Autolyse:Weigh out your sourdough starter and water into a large ceramic or glass bowl. Mix the water and starter together briefly. Then add your flour, salt and the liquid from the dates and mix together with the end of a wooden spoon. The dough will be fairly shaggy and only just brought together.Note re liquid - you should end up with around 350 to 360g of liquid with 320g of water and the 50g of liquid from the coffee/dates (they will have absorbed a little bit too).
- Cover your bowl with cling film or a damp tea towel and let it sit for around 1 hour. It's ok if it's a little longer.
- Forming Up Your Dough:After the dough has been through autolyse, you need to bring it together into a ball. You'll notice that the dough is fully hydrated after soaking up all the liquid. It will be fairly sticky but as you bring it into a ball, it will become smoother and shinier.
- Once the dough has formed into a smooth ball, pop the cling film back on and let it rest for around 30 minutes.
- Stretch & Folds:Over the next few hours, you need to create some structure for you dough by stretching and folding. Aim to do around 4-6 sets of stretches and folds. For each set, stretch the dough up and over itself 4 times. You'll find it gets easier to do at each set as the gluten in your dough develops.On the second set of stretch and folds, add the coffee & maple infused dates (you don't need to squeeze them out, add the stray liquid too). Try to incorporate them without disturbing all the beautiful bubbles that will be forming in your dough.
- Bulk Ferment:Once you've finished your stretch and folds, place the cling film or damp tea towel back over your dough and let it rest and ferment (see notes).
- Shaping Your Dough:Once your dough has finished it's bulk ferment, it's time to shape your sourdough. You can form it into any shape you like. I think this recipe works well as a boule.Once you're happy with the shape, place your dough into your banneton or bowl, ensuring that you've liberally floured whatever you are using.
- Cold Ferment:Now your dough is in it's shaping container, cover it loosely with a plastic bag or damp tea towel and place it into the fridge.Try to leave it for a minimum of 5 hours, up to a maximum of 36 hours. The longer you leave it, the better your bread will be.
- Preparing to Bake:Once you're ready to bake your sourdough, you'll need to preheat your oven to 230C/450F. Place your Dutch Oven into the oven when you turn it on so that it gets hot. Try to preheat for around 1 hour to ensure your oven is super hot - but you know your oven, so just adjust this time if you need to.Leave the dough in the fridge until the very last minute.
- Scoring:When your oven is at temperature, take your sourdough out of the fridge. Gently place it onto a piece of baking paper or parchment paper.Gently score your bread with a lame, clean razor blade or knife. A cross is sufficient, but you can get as artistic as you like.
- Baking Time!:Carefully take your Dutch Oven out of the oven. Place the sourdough into the pot using the baking paper as a handle. Put the lid on and place into the hot oven. If you want you can spritz your dough with extra water before you put the lid on.BAKE TIME:Bake your sourdough for 30 minutes at 230C/450F with the lid on plus10-15 minutes at 210C/410F lid off.
- Once the time has elapsed, remove your sourdough from your Dutch Oven.
- Notes on Sourdough Starter
This recipe is based on you having an active starter that you have fed a few hours before starting your bake. For information on whether your starter is ready, go here.
- Notes on Stretch & Folds
If you are going to do the stretch & folds on your bench top, spray your surface with water mist rather than using flour.
- Notes on Bulk Fermentation:
If your home is warm then your dough will ferment a lot faster and could be done in as little as a few hours. If it's colder, it will take longer, possibly overnight. I would recommend that you try to do your first few bulk ferments during daylight hours so that you can watch your dough closely.
Once you're more familiar with the process - and the temperature of your home - you will be able to do overnight ferments.
You will know your dough is ready to move to the next stage when it has *just* doubled in size. It will be fairly wobbly and full of bubbles. You should be able to see large air bubbles under the surface of the dough.
You don't want to let it go any further than doubled as it will be over fermented. If you want to do an overnight ferment, but your home is warm, consider using a little less starter (ie 25g).
Less starter means your dough will take longer to ferment and you will reduce the risk of over fermenting your dough. You'll find more information on these topics here:
When is my bulk ferment finished? What is the difference between cold ferment and bulk ferment? Why does the amount of starter matter?
- Notes on Baking
If you're worried about the base of your bread burning, place a baking sheet on shelf underneath your Dutch Oven - it works! If you're worried about your bread not being cooked all the way through, turn the oven off and place your dough straight onto the oven rack. Leave the door ajar and let your bread rest there for a few hours. Remember not to cut into your loaf too soon - you'll need to let it cool for at least a few hours (4-6 is best).