On old-time favorite. Photo © Jeffrey Kreulen | Dreamstime.
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Date Nut Bread Recipe
Mom’s Favorite Treat
Our grandmother and great-grandmother baked date nut bread. Our mother, a great baker, didn’t have to focus on date nut bread since bakeries and supermarkets carried it.
Us? We remember Dromedary Date Nut Bread from our preschool days, but the last time we looked, it was Gone With The 21st Century. Even Dromedary, which had long stopped baking fresh loaves for supermarket, discontinued its date nut bread mix.
The last holdout is the Vermont Country Store, a repository of favorite products from yesteryear (all the goods are new). Management also has a fondness for date nut bread, and have it made exclusively for them. It’s sold in vacuum cans (like coffee) for an extended shelf life.
If you can’t bake your own, send for a can to celebrate National Date Nut Bread Day, September 8th. (See all the September food holidays.)
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, Phoenix dactylifera. It may be man’s first cultivated fruit (competing with figs for the honor). Although its place of origin is believed to be northern Africa, it prospered from antiquity in the Middle East.
More about dates and a delicious date hors d’oeuvre.
Date Nut Bread Recipe
Mom, who began baking at age 8, says that she copied this recipe from a bag of dates, back in the 1950s. She can’t remember the brand. Date nut bread and cream cheese sandwiches were her favorite comfort food.
Makes 1 loaf, which yields 12 slices. The loaf can be frozen whole or sliced (wrap well in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-weight plastic bag.
Also see the serving suggestions below.
- 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
(you can use other nuts, but as with
raisin bread and banana bread,
walnuts are a natural pairing)
- Combine dates, water and butter in a bowl. Cover and let cool.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Beat egg with sugar. Alternatively add to date mixture with the sifted ingredients.
- Dredge nuts in a small amount of flour and fold into batter.
- Pour batter evenly into a greased loaf pan. Let rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack. Let cool.
Dates drying on a date palm tree. Photo by Metin Ozsavran | SXC.
Dates harvested and ready to eat. Photo by Gary Tamin | SXC.
How To Serve Date Nut Bread
- Sandwich: Cut in thin slices for a regular sandwich, tea sandwich or open face sandwich, filled with cream cheese, mascarpone or soft goat cheese.
- Ice Cream Sandwich: Fill with frozen yogurt or vanilla ice cream (rum raisin ice cream for an even richer sandwich). Serve immediately or return to freezer. A trick from the great chef Larry Forgione: Freeze the ice cream sandwich hard; then butter and toast in a panini press for five minutes until the outside of the bread gets toasted while the ice cream remains solid. Cut into two triangles and serve.
- Toast: Delicious for breakfast or brunch, plain or with butter or cream cheese.
- Brunch & Snack: It’s a fruit bread like carrot bread (denser than carrot cake).
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Recipe courtesy unknown date brand. Other materials © Copyright 2005-
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