Date And Walnut Bread - Recipe Courtesy Joyofbaking.com
Date and Walnut Bread is a very nice tea bread bursting with the flavor of sweet dates and crunchy walnuts. Jean Anderson tells us in her book 'The American Century Cookbook' that the first recipes for this bread began to appear in the 1920s, and it was so popular in the 1930s that it was used to make tea sandwiches. In fact, these tea sandwiches are so delicious you may want to try them. Take two thin slices of your Date and Walnut Bread and sandwich them together with a layer of cream cheese or butter. Then cut the bread into fingers, squares or triangles.
8 ounces (225 grams) dried pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts
2 cups (260 grams) plain flour
1/2 cup (105 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a bowl mix the chopped dates with the baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Pour 1 cup (240 ml) of boiling water over the dates, stir, and leave to cool to room temperature (this takes about 30 minutes).
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Then line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.
Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
In your food processor place the flour, sugar, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground cinnamon. Process to combine and then add the butter. Process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the vanilla extract.
Then add the beaten egg mixture and the cooled dates (along with the water) to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Place the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake about 55 to 65 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out just clean. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. This bread will keep for several days at room temperature. It can also be frozen.
Makes one - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.