Perhaps I was subliminally inspired by my recent dates with nuts from Match.com In any case, I picked up a big bag of dates at Sam's Club with the intention of making date nut bread. I'm breaking with tradition and posting this on both my blogs.
I used the recipe from my favorite cookbook. I'll list it here, since I can't post a link.
Date Nut Bread
2 cups chopped dates
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water
Combine dates, water and baking soda. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. The dates will soften up a lot from the combination of hot water and baking soda. They will also fizz a little. Good times!
6 tbsp butter, melted
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used a combination of sour cream and milk since that's what I had)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour a 9" loaf pan. Combine egg and milk and wisk to blend. Wisk in sugar, vanilla and melted butter, then add dates and the soaking liquid. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix, then add the liquid ingredients and mix until just blended. Add nuts. Bake for 55-60 minutes.
Anyway, that's the recipe. I have a confession to make - I forgot the nuts. I chopped them and toasted them but forgot to add them to the batter. Perhaps it was a subliminal thing - no more dates with nuts, ever! Perhaps I was a little distracted. The arborist was here giving estimates to my neighbors and I. He was a lot better looking than the Match.com guys. He can come climb my limbs any time.
In any case, the bread was really, really good. Soaking the dates made a huge difference. They were tender and the bread had a great, light texture and a slightly carmelly flavor. It was by far the best date nut bread I've ever eaten, even without the nuts. I took half the loaf in to work. It had mostly disappeared after a few hours, even though not everyone was around. I'll definitely be making it again, but next time I will add the nuts, and probably some chocolate chips too.