I am now convinced of two things: dates are amazing and great things come from Joshua Tree.
Not only do dates make amazing milkshakes, give cause for an awesome harvest festival down in Indio, or have 50 references in the Bible (according to Wikipedia), but they also make amazing bread.
Not only is Joshua Tree a funky-lookin’ tree…
…or the name of an incredible U2 album…
…but it is also the place where my great-grandmother lived, who made fame in my family for her Date Nut Bread. So when I received a surprise care package from my aunt that featured a fine-lookin’ box of dates, I decided I must try my hand at the recipe.
The first time I made it, I ate it in four days. By myself. I wish I was joking.
I made it for the second time last Saturday, and worked up enough self-control to get it to last through the week. There’s still one piece left and I had actually shared some this time.
Fortunately for my conscience , this bread is full of natural ingredients and rather nutritious as a result of a few changes I made to my great-grandmother’s recipe. I used whole-wheat pastry flour, which adds some hearty fiber, and I substituted half of the sugar with unsweetened applesauce. The dates are the key ingredient of the bread, acting as a natural sweetener and giving it a very exotic flavor…if there is such thing as an “exotic” flavor…
First, crank the oven to preheat at 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine:
1 cup chopped dates
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup boiling water
After stirring mixture, set aside and let cool.
In a large bowl, beat together:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened natural applesauce
Stir in the date mixture. If it hasn’t cooled enough, the eggs will coagulate…and that’s bad. Frowny face :(
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Pour into greased loaf pan and bake from 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Let’s get some natural lighting on that bad boy…oh yeah!
Just a little suggestion: I ate this for breakfast with hot Breakfast tea and a bowl of sliced banana with granola and plain yogurt (mixed with a few drops of agave nectar to sweeten it a bit)…and the combo was to die for. The experience might even have been further maximized if I had listened to U2’s The Joshua Tree at the same time…