Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Date and Walnut Bread

Did you know in the 1930s the Date and Walnut bread was so popular as a tea cake that in fact it was used to make tea sandwiches? For this, two thinly sliced bread pieces were sandwiched with a layer of cream cheese or butter and then cut them into fingers, squares or triangles. Even writing about it is making me salivate :D.


Dates are delicious dessert fruits with much needed minerals and energy to help you stay fit and healthy! Wonderfully delicious, dates are one of the most popular fruits with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, required for normal growth, development and overall well-being. Date is made of soft, easily digestible flesh with simple sugars like fructose and dextrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly; thus, for these qualities, dates are being used to breakfast during Ramadan months.


This is one of the first quick bread which I have ever tried whilst I was taking baby steps in the baking world, and, we (as in "the bread" and "me") hit it off instantly. It's a wonderful tea bread bursting with the flavour of sweet dates and crunchy walnuts. I usually use dried dates for this recipe but here I've used the fresh golden dates. Only because they were lying in my fridge waiting to get picked up.


The skin of fresh dates is a bit bitter although the flesh is smooth and sweet. But because of the skin, there were no takers for these dates at our house.There was no big difference in the taste, only you can feel the crunch of fresh dates as oppose to the dried dates which get sort of dissolved in the bread.


Date and Walnut Bread
Adapted from Joy of Baking

Ingredients:

50 grams walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
225 grams dates (dried), pitted and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
260 grams all purpose flour
110 grams light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
113 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf tin.
In a large bowl mix the chopped dates with the soda and a pinch of salt and pour 1 cup (240ml) boiling water over it. Stir and leave to cool to room temperature.
In your food processor, or by a whisk, combine flour, sugar, salt cinnamon and baking powder. Add the butter and combine until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs and stir in the chopped walnuts.
In a measuring glass or a small bowl whisk the egg with the vanilla extract.
Finally, fold the flour mixture and the beaten egg mixture into the cooled dates (with all the water). Stir until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and remove from the pan after 10 minutes.

17 comments:

  1. healthy and perfectly baked!

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  2. That looks so yummy. I've wanted to make a date and walnut cake for a while and I probably will do now I've been inspired by yours!

    http://misscakeaholic.blogspot.co.uk/

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  3. Hi Anuja, your bread and walnut bread look very moist and delicious. The combination look great.

    Have a nice week ahead, with lots of love and hugs to you.

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  4. Moist and great texture,perfect baked and yum

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  5. A beautiful quick bread. I love the combo of date and walnut.

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  6. Dates are one of my favourites. I would love to try a slice.

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  7. Date and walnut loaf is always a best seller at our charity cake stall. The older customers in particular love it. I remember my grandmother making it when I was a little girl, for special occasions. Yours looks wonderful and I haven't made it myself for a long time......must put that right soon !!

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  8. Fresh dates for baking? I like date loaf but never use the fresh ones for my baking before. Since you are using the fresh dates, did you still have to soak them in boiling water prior the processing?

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    Replies
    1. Yes ZOe we need to soak them in hot boiling water before using.

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  9. Have seen fresh dates, but have never tried them. Dates and walnut makes a wonderful combination.. Perfectly baked bread..

    Divya's Culinary Journey

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  10. I haven't seen fresh dates till now. thanks for showing. dates and walnuts always great combo, and nice bread.

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  11. Date and walnut bread sounds delicious and yours looks great...I bet it's lovely and moist!! :-)

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  12. Gorgeous, nutty & freshly baked bread!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  13. that'a a very nice texture for a quick bread!I never tried baking with fresh dates nor dried dates, one day i must try. You are making me salivating too reading how you eat the bread with cream cheese and butter!

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  14. hi Anuja,
    i love dates, i love walnuts and i definitely love your nice date and walnut bread.
    So this is fresh dates..you mention that the skin of the dates is a bit bitter. Do you peel the skin before you use it for baking?

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Happy baking! :)

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