Silan bread with olive oil and cooked grains

AriCooks, Yeast bread

Jerusalem olive trees in Fall. Image from

For about three days it was gorgeous here in Jerusalem. Crisp but not too cold, sunny, clear and very Fall-like. I headed out to the shuk with a renewed optimism for choosing Jerusalem over Tel Aviv as our home base here in Israel. I smiled at the vendors, bought butternut squash which I cooked into Katherine’s amazing tagine recipe, I stopped into the second-hand shop across from my favorite spice vendors and bought an adorable hand-made hoodie, I busted out my soft corduroys and cuddled with my favorite purple scarf. It was a short-lived but wonderful in-between season.

Now the rain and cold have arrived and I am trying to find ways to keep warm in our drafty, old, stone apartment. Though getting under the comforter until March or building a bonfire in the living room are both appealing options, turning on the oven is more practical and productive. This bread is a great excuse.

Silan bread with olive oil and cooked grains 

2 1/4 cups of warm water, divided (~100°F)

2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 cup silan (date honey) or molasses

3 Tbs olive oil

2 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups cooked grains such as rice, tabbouleh, wheat berries, oatmeal etc

2 cups all-pupose flour

3-4 cups whole wheat flour

Stir 1/4 cup of the warm water into the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Let sit about 5 minutes until foamy. If your yeast does not foam, check the expiration and the water temp and start over.

In a mixing bowl combine the remaining 2 cups of water with the cooked grains, silan, salt, and oil. Add the yeast mixture, then stir in the white flour. Add the whole wheat flour, one cup at a time. When it becomes too hard to mix, turn the dough out onto a surface and knead in more flour. Knead the dough until it is smooth but still a bit tacky, adding more flour as necessary.

Form the dough into a ball and put it in a greased bowl, turning it over once to grease the top as well. Cover with plastic (loosely) and a towel and set aside to rise for 1 1/4 hours – dough should double in bulk.

Turn the dough out and shape it into 2 loaves to fit into two, greased 8 x 10 inch loaf pans or 9 inch round cake pans. Cover and allow the dough to rise in the pans for 40 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the loaves for 50 minutes.

Note: This bread seems to have a shorter shelf life than others, perhaps because of the moisture from the cooked grains. Be sure to freeze the extra loaf if you will not eat it within a couple of days. 

2 thoughts on “Silan bread with olive oil and cooked grains

  1. What a lovely post! I must admit I’m slightly jealous of Jerusalem’s slight fall. I’m so glad you made my tagine 😀 I hope you enjoyed it! I have to make this bread soon, it sounds soo good. I love any excuse to use silan.

    1. Katherine, the tagine was DELICIOUS. Totally worth all the chopping. For years I have been making this recipe which is also good, but much simpler: It’s nice to have a more layered, alternative– something I would serve to guests.

      Yes, Silan is great, and it’s my substitute here in Israel for molasses, which is expensive and tough to find.

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