The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.
I've made a gazillion and one quick breads in my day (or 'Fancy Breads' as they are called in my family, much to hubby's mocking delight). I took this challenge to heart and wanted to do something different, something I had never had before and this is what I came up with. This is a 'rustic' loaf, as you can see by the gnarly texture on the top... but don't be fooled, it's moist and oh so tender inside. It's heavy on the ginger, just the way I like it, and it screams to be eaten along side a hot cup of tea.
My Ginger, Date & Nut Bread
Inspired by Sugar Plum
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and then roughly chopped
1/4 cup diced crystallized ginger
zest of half a lemon (about a tsp)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg
In a bowl, cover chopped dates with boiling water, set aside. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Once the nuts have cooled a bit, roughly chop them. In a mixing bowl, combine walnuts, ginger, zest, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar with a wooden spoon. Lightly beat the egg with a fork and add it, along with the oil, to the date mixture. Add the liquids all at once to the dry ingredients. Gently combine just until all of the flour is mixed in... this batter is pretty darn thick. Spoon into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
Brew a pot and Enjoy!