Date Nut Bread

Thanks to coworkers who had a surplus of Egyptian dates (and when I say Egyptian, I really truly mean, from Egypt), I have a supply to use while trying some new recipes.

Date nut bread seemed the obvious first choice, both because it’s the first think I thinks of for dates, and because of Rob’s everlasting love for all quick-breads.

First task was pitting and chopping the dates, and that took awhile. The dates my mom buys from the store are a little more ready-to-use, but hopefully the taste of these will make up for the inconvenience of pitting them.

Since I didn’t have any internet recipe that was calling to me, I went to King Arthur Flour’s cookbook (the all-purpose one I believe, though it might have been the whole wheat version) and gave that one a try.

The recipe was simple, and the bread came together easily; other than dealing with the dates the bread was very easy.

It baked up beautifully, and was incredibly moist.

Unfortunately, and unbelievably, the quick-bread lover was not a fan; the date flavor was overpowering and he didn’t care for it at all. Perhaps the Egyptian dates are more intensely flavored than the sort KAF expected me to use and I should have backed off on the quantity a bit? Or did I mismeasure? The measurement called for chopped dates (not dates, chopped), so maybe I chopped them too small and it skewed the quantity. This is why I like recipes with weights, not volumes.

So, a pretty loaf, but an unpopular one at home. I shared at work and it received a warmer welcome from Jennifer, so she got the rest of it, and at least it didn’t go to waste.

I still have lots of dates to use, and no firm idea of what to make with them, but I’m taking suggestions.

Cherry Cream Cheese Buns

This is the recipe for Raspberry Cream Cheese Buns from More from Magnolia, I just switched the preserves from raspberry to cherry because Rob loves cherry-flavored anything and barely tolerates raspberry. Since raspberry is my favorite though I made two of the buns with raspberry preserves for me.

The buns are very rich with an incredibly tasty batter (yes, I sampled it), and they come together very easily.

I think I should have used larger muffin pans because some of them overflowed in my oven, but fortunately I thought it might happen and I had a pan underneath to catch any spills. Apparently 12 standard sized muffins is still less than 9 large muffins.

They’re not super pretty; because the tins were so full I had some trouble swirling the preserves at all, but they’re not too bad.

The taste? Fantastic. Rob LOVED them. Jennifer loved them. I thought they were ok (I’m not crazy about muffins or buns of any sort so that doesn’t mean much).

Here they are ready to bake. The raspberry ones look much darker to me:

Going into the Oven

And right after removing them from the oven:
Ready to Eat!

Banana Pineapple Bread

Another one from Tammy’s Recipes. I decided to try this because my husband is a huge fan of banana bread (actually, he’s pretty much a big fan of any quick-bread of that sort; pumpkin spice bread definitely comes to mind), and I was getting a smidge bored with my usual recipe. But adding pineapple to the equation sounded interesting.

Rob was not impressed with the idea of me tampering with something tried-and-true. Why mess with a good thing? However, as is so often the case, once he tried something new he LOVED it. In fact, his direct quote was “you should make banana bread this way from now on.”* The pineapple adds extra flavor and moisture, both of which added to his appreciation for the new version.

My only change from the recipe as given was I used a full tablespoon of vanilla instead of two teaspoons as called for (yes, if you know your baking measurements you realize that that just means that I used an extra teaspoon). I love vanilla flavor and typically add a little extra to baked goods.

Jennifer deemed the bread a “great twist on the traditional banana nut bread. Very moist and yummy.”

Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for, the photographic evidence. Before baking:

going-into-the-oven.jpg

Immediately after coming out of the oven:

out-of-the-oven.jpg

Mmmmm, tasty!

tasty.jpg

*And this is why I don’t listen to him and continue to try new recipes.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

This is a Taste of Home recipe

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup water

pumpkin bread ingredients

In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs.

sugar oil and eggs all combined

Add pumpkin and mix well.

pumpkin added

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, cloves and allspice.

flour mixture

Add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.

adding the flour
all mixed

Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans.

ready to bake

Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

baked and cooling

The verdict?
Rob, the world’s biggest fan of all things pumpkin, LOVED it. He thought it was tasty and just right as far as moistness – not too dry and yet not too moist. He did wish we had some cream cheese to spread on it.