Brioche with date

February 15, 2011  •  Category: ,


A notable treat carried by cart vendors alongside the common kaak. I wanted to make a luxury version at home. So I made it with a rich brioche dough (I just added a bunch of egg yolks). You can make it the street-way, without all these yolks. It is a special treat, ubiquitous during Ramadan.


  • All-purpose unbleached flour 550 g. (19.5 ounces)
  • 1 Tablespoon of dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup of warm water to proof the yeast
  • warm milk, 200 g/ (6 ounces)
  • melted butter, 50 g.(4 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons of corn oil (or any oil)
  • sugar (75 g.)
  • 1 teaspoon mahlab
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • Date paste (12 ounces)
  • Unsalted butter (100 g. or 7 Tablespoons) (for the date paste)
  • 2 teaspoons of rose water
  • 3 Tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Place the flour, sugar, salt and mahlab in the bowl of a mixer. Mix for a few seconds the dry ingredients. In the meantime, proof the yeast in a small bowl with a teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water till it bubbles.
  2. Add the melted butter and oil to the flour mixture and mix, adding the warm milk and eggs gradually, along with the yeast mixture. The dough will be sticky. Plop it onto the counter and add a bit of flour to make it easier to handle. Form into a ball and place in a bowl letting it rise a few hours.
  3. While the dough is rising, prepare the date filling; place the date paste in a food processor, add the butter cut into chunks and process for a few seconds adding the rose water. Process until the paste looks smooth and shiny.
  1. When the brioche has risen (doubled in size), flip the ball of dough onto the counter, form into a long and fat sausage and cut in equal-size pieces. Flatten each piece with your fingers into a 6 inch circle. Place a ball of date paste (using a cookie dough scoop makes it easier) on that circle and pinch the circle closed and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet to rise slowly. Flatten the circle gently with the tip of your fingers. Brush with a bit of oil if you wish to keep the dough shiny.
  2. After a couple of hours, using kitchen scissors, cut a small one inch slit all around the brioche. Let it rise again for an hour or longer. When ready to bake, brush with some beaten egg and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F, place the brioches in the oven over another cookie sheet (to prevent the bottom from burning). Bake for 20 minutes or until the brioches are nicely browned. Cool and serve.


52 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Tom @ Tall Clover says:

    I can see the date center is just the beginning, I could try figs, apples, chocolate, pistachios, almond paste…uh, that is one filling at time, not all together. 😉

    Another great recipe to try — thanks Joumana!

  2. weirdcombos says:

    This looks delicious! I adore dates and brioches. I wish I had a couple of those right now to go with my black Starbucks. Pics are so beautiful.

  3. Amanda says:

    Joumana – I love you!
    Recently, whilst trawling through some middle eastern grocery stores, I found 1 kilo packs of date paste which I grabbed with much enthusiasm. Of course, the pack has been sitting idly in the pantry waiting for me to work out what to do with it since then, but you have just answered my prayer.
    Many, many thanks.

  4. FOODESSA says:

    I so appreciate when you put your ‘Joumana’ spin on most things ;o)

    This treat sounds and looks delicious…I do love dates!

    Flavourful wishes,

  5. meriem says:

    J’adore ton idée de fourrer de la brioche avec des dattes…ça change des biscuits secs. Je vais essayer la prochaine fois que je fait une brioche, ça doit être délicieux!! Merci pour toutes ces belles idées. Bonne soirée.

  6. The Nervous Cook says:

    Oh my heavens, this looks so delightful. And so lovely! I love dates so much. Yum.

  7. Devaki says:

    Dear Joumana – Hehe now I know what you meant by – you wee doing briche as well 🙂 btw, the little cuts in the dough to make it look like flower petals is marvelous. And the date paste too….what a wonderful rendition!

    Thanks Joumana – as always.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  8. Hanaa says:

    These sound sooooo good. And they also look so pretty, like a flower. I love dates (Medjool dates are my favorite). Definitely have to try this one.

  9. sophia says:

    This looks sooo much like one of my favorite Asian treats, which is the red bean bun….I could so stuff this with adzuki beans!! Lovely…and you gave such delicate skills in handling dough! Gorgeous!

  10. Banana Wonder says:

    This is so luscious! I love date filling and MAHLEB! My aunt in Greece just mailed me several packets because its impossible to find here in Oregon. I wish I could eat one of your broiches with date filling. You are such a talented baker, among other things.

  11. Ivy says:

    This sounds amazing, I love brioche pastry and we used to eat a lot of dates in Cyprus but here in Greece you can only get them in some specialty stores and they are quite expensive.

  12. Sushma Mallya says:

    love its shape,so different and beautiful..

  13. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I love the sound of this, the flavours are exactly what i love, and the presentation is just beautiful!
    *kisses* HH

  14. Rosa says:

    A wonderful treat! Perfect with a good cup of cffee or tea.



  15. Cherine says:

    Wow Joumana, this brioche is to die for! I love the date filling too!

  16. Jolita says:

    Looks very delicious!! I really have to try them. I also love the shaping technique.

  17. Caffettiera says:

    Dates are so rich that I usually never think of baking with them, but these brioches are incredibly cute.

  18. Priya says:

    Pretty brioche, loves it..

  19. SYLVIA says:

    Joumana, this recipe reminds me so much of my date cookies that I make during the Easter holiday. I send them to my friends and family in decorative pastel baskets. I will add this to my repertoire, and will receive rave from everyone. This recipe will disappear fast than It takes me to make them.

  20. ruba says:

    Mish Ma32ooleh!!! beautiful, I cant wait to get my hand on some Mahlab 🙂

  21. joudie kalla says:

    Looks absolutely scrummy!

  22. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    I wonder if I can find Mahlab around here? I’d really like to make these. If the weather permits, I’m going to hunt for this later on.

  23. Peter says:

    Love the shape of these date treats…break-off a piece, nibble then sip some coffee…repeat! I assume lots of Lebanese grab these as a quick bite?

    • Joumana says:

      @Peter: You are right, since these are sold by cart vendors, they are grabbed any time of the day; the dough however is more like a soft bread dough, not so rich like a brioche. always the taste of mahlab, though!

      @Sharon: These would work great with Chinese pastes!

      @Deana: I wish I could tell you that mahlab tastes like cherries; it does not, it has a unique taste and one day I will try to describe it. You can get it in seeds and grind them yourself too. Word of caution: They do have an expiration date and they can be toxic if used too much. Totally safe here.

      @Murasaki: I beleive mahlab is sold online through amazon; since it is also used by the Greeks and the Turks, among others, you could probably find it through these sources as well!

  24. Sharon@ Fun and Life says:

    These look so good! I’ve never tried date paste before. I wonder whether it’ll work with Chinesey types of pastes like red bean paste or lotus paste. But these look beautiful and delicious! A luxury indeed!

  25. Barbara says:

    I’m drooling. Much prefer brioche to croissants to begin with and then to stuff them with dates! Yum. You did a beautiful job with these, Joumana.

  26. Claudia says:

    I wish I was basking in that sunshine with the pastry in front of me. What a lovely combination of flavors – taken to new heights by you. I agree with the comment about “playing with the filling.” You could have one for each day of the week.

  27. Karen says:

    These look incredible! By the way, I spent a day in Dubai last week on my way home, and I had the most delicious Lebanese food. Oh and the dates and various sweets were to die for. I wanted to stay longer just for the food… 🙂

  28. deana says:

    So they are like ‘date newtons’??? I love dates and enjoy finding new uses for them.. mahlab??? I looked it up… does it taste almond-like??? I know they use the pits to give maraschino that special taste, I need to find out about this!!

  29. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Oh your brioche look wonderful. I wish we had street vendors in Quebec. I love the adorable look you gave them.

  30. 5 Star Foodie says:

    What an amazing treat this is – with the delicious brioche dough and the scrumptious date filling, excellent!

  31. Katerina says:

    The taste of mahlepi is very unique I love it. Also the fact that you use brioche dough instead of plain bread dough I am sure it makes a big difference in their taste.

  32. Antonella says:

    No doubts: a luxury version! Looks and sounds amazing! May be I can prepare it with my flour too.

  33. Susan says:

    What a delightful way to eat dates! They are beautiful, Joumana.

  34. tigerfish says:

    I agree with Sophia! So similar to the Chinese pastry with red bean filling! 🙂

  35. domi says:

    Bonsoir Joumana, que voilà un blog qui retient mon attention de par sa beauté, sa fraîcheur et sa différence avec nombre de blogs qui pullulent sur la blogosphère. Une vraie belle découverte qui me réjouis le coeur et les yeux. J ‘ ai survoler ton blog pour me faire une idée et bien sûr tout ce que j’ ai vu est à l’ image de cette jolie fleur qui fera ” datte ” sur ton blog, bisous et passe une bonne soirée

  36. Citron says:

    Ma petite pâtisserie libanaise du coin fait quelque-chose de tres semblable, que j’adore d’ailleurs. Version maison à essayer!

  37. Miss Anthropist says:

    This looks soo delicious! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  38. UrMomCooks says:

    Your bread-making skills are amazing!!! A loaf like this is what I aspire to in the future!!!

  39. Namitha says:

    Lovely..One of the prettiest Brioches I’ve ever seen 🙂 and the date paste filling sounds yummm

  40. sweetlife says:

    a stunning treat, i love the shape of your brioche and the filling is amazing!!
    have a great week!

  41. Magic of Spice says:

    These are so pretty! I love brioche in most any form and love dates as well 🙂
    The addition of rose water is a special and delightful touch 🙂

  42. Foleybread says:

    I liked this Brioche so much it looks yummy I will try it and I will let you know, by the way I am a physician originally from Alexandria Egypt, so my wife and I grew up by the Mediterranean like you, I like to bake and I have a blog I will like you to check it out and write your comment


  43. Sweet Artichoke says:

    That is a delicious and innovative brioche! Can’t resist date fillings!

  44. Lentil Breakdown says:

    This is gorgeous! I bought some date paste a long time ago and it’s still in my fridge, unopened. Wonder if I can still use it. But this looks very ambitious! (maybe not for you : )

  45. Stella says:

    Joumana! I want to make this, but I’m so bad at converting measurements. Can you tell me how many cups of flour as well as milk? I think I got the rest:) Thanks, Stella

    • Joumana says:

      @Stella: I just measured my cup of flour, using the technique of dipping the cup in the flour bin and scraping the top till flat; I got 4.7 ounces of flour per cup or 132 grams.That means that to get 550 grams you are going to need 4 cups (using that same technique), plus 2 tablespoons. As far as the milk, you need a measuring cup because it is volumes. If you don’t have one, just measure almost a cup of milk (or a cup less 2 tablespoons and you should get 6 ounces).

  46. Alépine says:

    Elles sont très réussies ! Ca me rappelle les vacances…

  47. kingrogue says:

    Hello Joumana, i just made this recipe Brioche with Date, and it was Amazing!!!! Just one thing How can i make a big batch of the dough? or do i just double the ingredients.

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