My wonderful sister-in-law, Terry, sent me a picture of her grandmother’s recipe card for Date Bread so I could make it for my husband (her brother). My husband remembered the bread with fondness so, of course, I decided to make it. I have to admit I was skeptical – dates in desserts were NOT something I grew up with. My mother was a sworn chocoholic, and I was following in her footsteps.
But when I took my first bite of Grandma’s Date Bread, I felt like a whole new world opened up. It was absolutely, and unexpectedly, delicious! How could this these dried, brown fruit create such a tender and flavorful bread?
GRANDMA’S DATE BREAD – 1 loaf
- 1 T butter, softened
- 8 oz (230g / 1.75 cups) pitted dried dates
- 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
- 1 egg
- 1.5 cups (190g / 6+5/8 oz) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (140g / 5 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (95g / 3.75 oz) pecans, lightly toasted
Set out butter to soften.
Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
Chop dates – I use my kitchen shears.
Place chopped dates in a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Cover with a plate to retain the heat. Let set for 30 minutes so the dates can soften.
Into a mixing bowl, beat the egg. Add in the softened butter, dates (WITH liquid), flour, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, and pecans. Blend together until the flour is just incorporated – don’t overmix or the bread can toughen.
Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf pan – I use a Pyrex glass pan.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the top bounces back when lightly pushed – about 60-75 minutes. (Mine take 74 minutes.) Make sure to gently press down on the cracked portion – if it’s still mushy, keep baking. The bread will LOOK done before it IS done.
Let set in pan 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Try to resist slicing the hot loaf – it needs to firm up a bit. Give it, at least, 45 minutes if you can.