Fill your home with the lovely, warm smell of lemon-infused bread and then treat yourself to toast with jam. You earned it.
1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup or molasses
1/4 tsp. lemon oil
zest of one lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2 1/2+ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat bran
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup chopped dates
Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking oil. Lightly spray an 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking oil and line with parchment paper, if you like.Set the bowl and pan aside.
Add all of the liquid ingredients – non-dairy milk through lemon juice – to the bowl of a stand mixer. Run the mixer, using the paddle attachment, a few times to combine.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (except for the chopped dates) and whisk. With the mixer running on the slowest speed, carefully add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients. Once it’s all added, increase the speed so that there are no dry bits. Stop the machine and replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. Turn the mixer back on and if the dough looks too wet, add more flour a little at time until a slightly tacky ball forms.
Continue to mix for 6-8 minutes. Now you’re ready to add the dates. As the mixer runs, sprinkle in the chopped dates. You want to mix just until the pieces are incorporated evenly within the dough.
Place the dough ball into the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 90 minutes. Whole wheat dough doesn’t rise as much as all-purpose flour so don’t expect a huge rise. Punch down the dough and roll it into a roughly 9-inch x 5-inch shape. Place the loaf into the prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let the loaf rise for about 1 hour or until the dough rises about 1-inch above the top of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and place the loaf back into the oven directly onto the oven rack. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until nicely browned. The bottom of the loaf, when tapped lightly, should sound hollow and feel firm.
Place the loaf on a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.
Rise times during cool/cold months will be longer. Be patient and let the dough rise sufficiently before baking.