By Cat, Oct 2007 (Photo, right, cropped form Wikimedia Commons)
I love date bread during the holidays. Dates and oranges together is a great flavor, and quite festive. I have several orange-date bread recipes on this site; but this is my favorite. Refer to my article on Grains, Flours & Starches for more info on the flours used in this recipe.
Orange Date Bread, with Softened Dates & Orange Zest
I usually use maple syrup and stevia, but I’ve included instructions to modify for using dried sugar cane juice (Rapadura sugar).
I also use a mix of flours in this recipe. Either wheat or spelt can be used, but please refer to Spelt vs Wheat in Baked Goods for more. You can also use sprouted wheat or spelt instead of the whole grain flour; see Sprouted Grain & Sprouted Grain Flour (About) for more on this.
Coconut flour is only used if you are using stevia and maple syrup as the sweetener, as it is needed to absorb the liquid in the maple syrup; if batter is too stiff, add orange juice or milk 1 Tbsp at a time until you get the right consistency.
Alternately, you can include the coconut flour for its fiber content when sweetening with sugar, but you will need to add equivalent amount of liquid (I’d use orange juice). For example, if you add ¼ cup coconut flour, add ¼ cup liquid to the recipe. Also, never use more coconut flour than ¼ of the total flour in the recipe; this recipe uses 2 1/2 c ups total flour, so do not use more than ⅜ cup (10 Tbsp) coconut flour.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1 ½ cup chopped dates
- 1 ½ cup boiling water
- 1 cup Rapadura sugar (or ½ tsp stevia extract powder plus 2 Tbsp maple syrup or Grade-B molasses)*
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry or sprouted wheat flour (or use whole or sprouted spelt, but use 1 ¾ cups to start, then add more if needed)
- ¼ cup unbleached white flour (see note below) *
- ¼ cup coconut flour (see note below) *
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
- large bowl
- 1 regular loaf pan, or 2 small loaf pans (4½ x 2¾ x 2″); do not use aluminum pans.
* NOTE: The coconut flour is added to absorb the moisture from the maple syrup; it also adds fiber. But here are some alternatives:
- If you use sugar instead of maple syrup and stevia, omit the coconut flour and increase the white flour to ½ cup;
- Or, if you want the added fiber but don’t want to use stevia, decrease the coconut flour to 2 Tbsp, increase white flour to¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp, and add 2 Tbsp orange juice..
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease bread pan with butter.
- Combine dates and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, add stevia (if using) and cool to room temperature.
- Grate zest from 1 – 2 oranges (you need 1 Tbsp of zest).
- Combine eggs, sugar or maple syrup, oil, and orange zest in a large bowl. Stir in date mixture and let rest a few minutes.
- Measure dry ingredients into a sifter, then sift over the date mixture. Stir well to combine. If using coconut flour, sift only 3 Tbsp of that flour with the other dry ingredients; stir in the remaining Tbsp only if the batter is too moist.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool before serving.
- Better Homes and Gardens NEW Cook Book (published 1976′ see Beloved Cookbooks for more)