In my world (and maybe yours soon!), with the colder weather come delightful desserts like this one.
This bread is delicious and moist with a very thin, crispy crust that hints of caramel, thanks to the dates and our whole brown sugar.
Treat yourself, friends and family to this enticing bread ~ you won’t be disappointed!
DATE & WALNUT BREAD
- 8 ounces (or 2 cups, lightly packed) dried pitted dates, coarsely chopped*
- ½ tsp fine sea salt, divided
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ cup brown sugar (this recipe would also work well with palm sugar)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup butter, cold
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Chop the dates and place in a bowl, sprinkle on 1/4-teaspoon salt, then pour the boiling water over, stir the dates in the water and lightly flatten so as much of the dates are in water as possible. Leave the dates soaking in the water to come down to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Pre heat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius.
Optional: lightly toast walnuts in your pre-heating oven until light brown and fragrant.
Combine the baking soda, baking powder, another 1/4-teaspoon salt, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and brown sugar in a large bowl, then add the flour and mix. Dice the cold butter and cut into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs; a food processor fitted with an S-blade is the easiest method, although it can be done by hand.
Beat the eggs with the vanilla, mix in with the dates and then mix the wet and dry mixture until just combined, don’t over-mix.
Put dough into a 9″x 5″ oiled pan and smooth the dough out so it’s even. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool out of the pan.
* Deglet dates or extra-dry Medjool dates tend to work best for this recipe; you don’t want the dates so soft that when you chop them they turn to mush.
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