Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Banana Bread Up-"date"

In my kitchen, there are ongoing attempts to make a super moist, dark, delicious date nut bread. It's a pressing need, as it's been on the agenda to try again, like forever. Yet, there are 2 overripe bananas staring at me. Banana bread or date nut bread? Indecision looms. So I solve the dilemma, avoid the choice and combine recipes. I make date nut bread with mashed bananas added. Experience tells me I am sure to ruin 2 good things and end up with a mutation worth nothing. "We wouldn't give any away, just eat it ourselves," I argue. That nagging voice of "experience" was wrong! Improvisation succeeded. Description: Moist, rich, dark, with a satisfying banana flavor and orange flavor in the background. Full of good for you stuff too. Yummers. We liked this. Do you? Try this and let me know. I used a special ingredient, date sugar. This upped the overall date flavor and made the sweet seem more wholesome than a white sugar rush. No date sugar on hand? You can switch it out for brown sugar, but use a little less.

1 1/8 cups of flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat flour)
3/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. date sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/8 c. dark molasses
1/2 c. oil (I used safflower oil)
1/2 cup of buttermilk (from powder, or you could use yogurt and milk combo)
1 t. vanilla
1 egg plus 1 yolk
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped loosely
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
15 -20 large soft dates such as Medjool dates chopped loosely (you can use the extremely dry dates, but you might need more water)
1 cup hot water to pour over dates
2 T. grated orange rind

Pour hot water over dates that have been chopped and let sit 3 hours or longer. Stir, poke, mash it occasionally.
Mix dry ingredients and set aside.
Mix wet ingredients in mixer, sugars, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, egg,  and mix together on low.
Add dry ingredients to wet, gradually.
Add orange zest
Mix on medium for 1 minute.
Add date mixture, mashed banana and walnuts and stir on low, or with a spoon.
Scoop into oiled and floured bread pans. (One large or two small)
Bake 350 for 50 minutes in large pan, or until the toothpick comes out relatively clean.

Inspiration from Saveur's recent spread (Mom's Banana Bread p 101 May '10 issue) and Kendra Nordin http://kitchenreport.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/banana-bread/  May 10th entry.

1 comment:

isobel said...

A good variation. Chopped up 30 Turkish apricots and soaked them in hot water. Added them along with the dates, but omitted the banana. Added 2 full eggs, not the yolk only. It turned out a little heavier like fruit cake, but was delicious. A mixture of nuts might be nice! I would try only 20 appricots next time and soak them longer.