The Modern Baker Challenge: Quick Breads – Date Walnut Bread

The next bread on my Modern Baker Challenge line-up was the Date Walnut Bread. We are baking our way through Nick Malgieri’s “The Modern Baker”, not necessarily in the order that is given in the book. Check my sidebar to see which breads I’ve already made.

I’m not too fond of dates, so I wasn’t really sure if I should use some other dried fruit instead. But then there was this gardening day at my younger kids’ daycare last Friday where a couple of parents (including myself) volunteered to help with the spring-cleaning, and I thought it would be a good idea to bring some cake for the hungry helpers.

I thought that 1 pound of dates was quite a lot. I used 7 oz of dates and 9 oz of cranberries instead. Also, I didn’t use walnuts. I intended to, but when I saw the price of walnuts, I was too cheap to buy them. The recipe calls for 7 oz of walnut pieces – 3,5 oz are 3 US dollars. 6 dollars for walnuts only? No, by no means! Chopped almonds are a VERY common baking ingredient in Germany, so I substituted almonds for the walnuts. They are soooo much cheaper: 7 oz of chopped almonds were $0,65!!!

OK, so now that I had all the ingredients, I placed the snipped dates, cranberries and butter (the whole recipe calls for only 1 tblsp of butter – would that work at all?) in a bowl, covered them with boiling water and let the mixture stand for 1 hour. Then I whisked the eggs, added the sugar, whisked some more and added the vanilla. Then I folded the date cranberry butter mixture into the egg mixture. In a separate bowl, I mixed the flour with baking soda and salt, stirred the flour mixture into the date-cranberry and egg mixture along with the almonds, scraped the batter into my prepared Bundt pan (yes, every organized German household has a Bundt pan) and baked the bread for about 1 hour.

Before I took the bread to the daycare gardening day, I had to taste a slice to know if I could offer it at all. My first thought was: “Do I really want to give this away? It is sooooo good!”. Yes, it was delicious. The combination of dates, cranberries and almonds was just awesome. And believe me, 30 minutes after I had put this bread on the garden table, every single slice was gone. Looks like this is a winner recipe!

Other bakers who tackled this bread

Chaya (the official blogger for this bread), Karen (Sara’s sister), Phyl, Petra, Kayte, Daniel

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8 responses to “The Modern Baker Challenge: Quick Breads – Date Walnut Bread

  1. Wow this looks extremely tasty yum!!

  2. Looks delicious! I’ll have to add some cranberries the next time I make this bread.

  3. I wasn’t planning to make this one, but your description and pictures make me think I should!

  4. I dont know what happened because somehow I have an overabundant supply of dates. Since your quick bread looks so good, I think I may have to make it.

  5. Looks wonderful from the outside and the inside! The fun each week is seeing what people do in their kitchens with the recipes, always gives me lots of inspiration to take a recipe different ways the next time I bake it. Your subs sound wonderful to me…will try those with this bread next time. I am getting ready to make this one today. My mother’s sister died over the weekend, so it has put me a bit behind in my scheduling…she would love to see me baking something, as she was a great baker, so it will be nice to stir and mix and remember all my good times with her today.

  6. Very interesting! I had planned to skip this bread as I don’t like fruit in my bread, but maybe I’ll give it a try with just cranberries. I love to hear another baker alters their recipe due to expense too! I’m often unimpressed with the walnuts in the bulk section of the store- they seem almost rancid sometimes. The almonds tend to be fresher. Great job!!

  7. Pingback: The Modern Baker Challenge: Quick Breads – Whole Grain Apple Raisin Bread « Family & Food & Other Things

  8. Oh my, this looks fantastic. Even the color. It looks so light. I did love the overabundance of dates and their moisture in mine, but adding the flavor of cranberries would have made them even more amazing. I would definitely have taken a piece (or two) if this was in front of me.

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