Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Date Nut Bread Extraordinaire


The beauty of baking your way through a cookbook is that you routinely discover recipes you never would have chosen on your own, and you absolutely and unexpectedly fall in love with them.

Even though this has happened to me many times with Baking From My Home to Yours, I really couldn't imagine it would happen with this recipe. I've never liked date bread and scarcely ate dates until about six years ago when I gave them another try and found I liked them. But a lifetime of not liking something takes time to reprogram, so my initial reaction to this pick was "great...date bread...ugh." But it was picked by my friend and blogging buddy Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet. If Mary had chosen brussels sprouts pudding, I would have gamely attempted it.

The recipe calls for 3 ounces of cream cheese, and cream cheese is something I never buy unless I'm making a cheese cake. It might be the secret weapon that gives this bread its lovely texture and makes it an excellent keeper. The preparation is typical quick bread except that it bakes for a long time. It smelled great while it baked and made me curious (I wouldn't say eager, nope).

Once it cooled, I sliced off a piece and took a tentative bite. It was incredibly delicious, crusty on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, little pockets of sweet, chewy dates contrasted with the crisp crunch of the walnuts. Absolutely fabulous. It was even better the next day. I was in love, so much so that I promptly bought more dates so I could make it again.

If you'd like to try this recipe, Mary has it for you here. She made two versions, one with dates and one with apricots, and they both look scrumptious. As much as we love apricots, I can't imagine making this bread with anything other than dates, my new favorite fruit.

14 comments:

Lauryn said...

wow, so glad you loved this one!!! I ended up using strawberries in mine instead of dates, but the dates really do sound fabulous!!!

Cindy said...

I too have learned to love dates. I use them often especially if a recipe calls for raisins (which I have not learned to love).
Delicious recipe, I'll make it often.
Have a great day.

Peggy said...

Yours looks so delicious Leslie. Mine was on the dry side. I might try it again, next time with the dates to see if that makes it more moist since I used apricots this time. Great job on yours.

Mimi said...

I grew up eating date nut bread and love it, so I'm glad to know that I need to make this bread.
Mimi

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Beautiful slice... it looks like it's floating on top of that plate! :)

Comfy Cook said...

So you liked it, Leslie?

You sure know how to give rave reviews. If I had not made it also and known how right you are, you would have sold me on this.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

First of all, Leslie, that picture is STUNNING! And what a wonderful story about this bread. I was expecting a tasty quick bread, but I was blown away by the taste of this toasted.

Nicole said...

I love dates so I wasn't surprised that I loved this. I think dates get forgotten, which is too bad since they are good. Your bread/cake looks wonderful.

Tia said...

love the color of your loaf. golden and delicious.
Tia

Katrina said...

That's a great looking slice of the bread! And some major date love! I didn't get this one made this week. Made some killer chocolate chip cookies though. ;)

jillbert said...

I love dates, so I'm happy to hear that you're a fan now! Gotta love it when you make a recipe you don't think you'd like and it turns out so good.

TeaLady said...

This was good. I am not a date person, but they were good in this. I know youhave made it tons of times by now.

Jessica said...

I had the same initial reaction but I'm glad I tried it. Why don't we use cream cheese in quick breads more often, come to think of it? Yours looks wonderful!

Hanaâ said...

Why do I visit your blog on a Friday? I already made baking plans for the weekend and now (in my head) I'm trying to fit in this delicious date bread :o) I LOVE dates, especially Medjool dates. I love the texture of yours. It looks perfect!