Sunday, November 3, 2013

Date Nut Bread

You may remember my mother's obsession with dates.  She loves date nut pudding, date nut bread, dates themselves... and I think that anything with the word "date" in it sounds like old people food.  But regardless, sometimes I just have to give in and bake the woman what she wants ("please just make the things I ask for, normal things!!!!" is her usual shout).  So when I found a bag of dates at the grocery store, I bought them with the idea of baking her a date nut bread.  I had made her one before, last fall, and she was so excited about it.  I thought it was just okay.  I decided to try out a different recipe this time; the one I had tried was from a woman at church and I was kind of weirded out at the lack of flavorings.  Not that this one is much different; it has 1 egg rather than 2, and butter instead of shortening, with a little less flour and nuts.  But I think that this bread was superior to the old recipe.


I have made it 3 times in the last 3 weeks and we have devoured every single one.

By "we," I mostly mean Mom and Rachael, who are totally obsessed with it.  But Mark and Kenzie have also professed their love for it as well, and Linny loved it when she came to visit (she took half of a loaf home with her!).  I still think it's not my favorite thing on earth, but even I have to admit that even though the only flavoring is it in the dates, it's a pretty good bread.  And it's also rather gorgeous, coming out all dark brown, shiny and studded with dates and nuts.  The best news is that it is really easy to make, too.  So I think it is safe to say that this is a very good date nut bread recipe.  We are currently out of dates but something tells me that my mom will be bringing me more very soon.


date nut bread
from Liz the Chef

1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1 teaspoon for greasing pan
1 pinch kosher salt
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a loaf pan with butter.

2) Place the dates in a small bowl and sprinkle with the baking soda.  Add the boiling water and let stand for 30 minutes.

3) Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, egg and butter until smooth.

4) Add the salt, flour, and nuts and mix on low until just blended.

5) Stir in the dates-soda-water mixture.  Pour batter into greased loaf pan.  Bake for 45 - 50 minutes until tester inserted in bread's center comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out on a rack.  Slice when cooled.

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