Date nut bread is a classic. This recipe won me over a few years ago with its rustic, slightly crusty texture. Enjoy a slice with morning coffee or alongside a hearty soup. Top it with mango chutney cheese spread and it’s even better.
DATE NUT BREAD
Start to finish: 90 minutes
Active time: 30 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf (about 12 slices)
- 1 cup pitted chopped dates
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (gluten-free version: 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut in pieces
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, mixed together in a small bowl (or for gluten-free version use 1 1/2 cups Namaste Perfect Flour Blend)
Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for glass loaf pan). Lightly coat loaf pan with oil or cooking spray.
In a medium heat-safe bowl, mix together the dates, walnuts, baking soda, and salt. Add the shortening. Pour the boiling water over and stir. Let stand 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs and stir in sugar. Add flours or gluten-free flour blend to sugar mixture and stir. Batter will be stiff. Add the date mixture and stir briskly until batter is well blended. Place in loaf pan and bake 45 to 55 minutes. Check often; bread is done when a few moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf. Do not overbake—the bread will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven.
Let cool 15 to 30 minutes, slide a knife around edges to loosen loaf and turn out onto a rack or cutting board. This bread is delicious served warm and keeps well in the freezer.
MANGO CHUTNEY CHEESE SPREAD
Start to finish: 5 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup mango chutney
Place ingredients in food processor and pulse to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
(Recipes adapted from foodnetwork.com.)
China in photo courtesy Pink Begonia, Kalona, Iowa.