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A Date with Date-Nut Bread

Posted Jul 20 2009 11:53pm
A little more new business: I got a few emails this week from confused readers who weren't sure why the "Essential Gluten Free In Cleveland" links (the ones I talked about last week that organized information on gluten-free restaurants in Cleveland by Eastside & Westside and highlighting grocery stores and bakeries on a right hand side bar) weren't showing up in the emails they received on last week's post.

Thing is, those super cool emails you get are just the post itself email to your inbox. However, to access the links - as well as see lists of my favorite gluten-free websites, cleveland websites, and see all past posts and recipes - you'll need to visit the actual site. Sorry for the confusion and I hope this clears it up!

And now, back to the food... Sometimes, my best ideas come to me right before I go to sleep. Laying in bed, my head resting on the cool pillow, my limbs tangled up in blankets that will surely be kicked to the floor by the time the night is through, I have often wished the notepad I keep on my night stand was just a little bit closer so I could just write that last thought down before...I...fall....asleep....zzzzz.

Sigh. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't. Somedays I spend all morning trying to remember that character arc or snappy joke, and somedays I hardly remember my 3am moments of genius happened at all. Sure if it's for my actual work, the idea has a 50/50 chance of being gone forever, but if I fall asleep recipe planning? Oh you'd better believe my brain sticky noted that craving to the forefront of my memory, demanding attention the very moment I wake up.

My meaning? Some people fall asleep counting sheep, I fall asleep counting cups of sugar... and this morning, I woke up wanting to add that sugar to the same recipe I dreamed up last night: date-nut bread.

Date-nut bread is perfect brunch fare. Shmeered with cream cheese and served up with a nice fruit salad, there is maybe no better accompaniment to your Sunday morning news programs, your magazines, or your trashy VH1 shows. And yet, since my gluten-free diagnosis, I haven't had a single slice of date-nut goodness. What's up with that?

Things gotta change. For you and me. Date-nut bread style.

Date-Nut Bread
changed ever so slightly from Allrecipes

1 packed cup chopped and pitted dates
2 - 3 Tablespoons Earth Balance Butter (or regular butter), softened
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup boiling water

2/3rd cup sugar
1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2 eggs
1 & 1/2 cups all purpose GF flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 8x4 inch loaf pan.

Combine baking soda, dates, and butter in a medium sized bowl and cover with boiling water. Stir and let sit for fifteen minutes.

Mix sugar, walnuts, and eggs into the bowl, followed by the flour, baking powder, xanthum gum, and salt. Pour the mixture into your pre-greased and floured loaf pan and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes. (I give you a huge time gap here because I let mine cook 42 minutes and it burnt!! It was nearly done at 30 minutes - the toothpick came out clean everywhere but directly in the center - and I foolishly trusted myself to remember to pull it out of the oven 5 minutes later, without adjusting the time. The smell of just-starting-to-burn date bread reminded me it was time to it to pull it out!!)

Let cool at least 10 minutes before removing it from the loaf pan. Now I know the temptation to have a piece of fresh from the oven bread is quite overwhelming (I succumb too, I admit it!), and sure it is good then, but wrapping it up in cling wrap, letting it sit overnight, makes it great. Besides, cutting into this moist, just sweet enough, nutty loaf is a perfect way to begin any morning.

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