I copied this recipe from my mother’s recipe box when I was a newlywed. I am certain her index card was not this disorganized. There is a reason recipes aren’t written in paragraph form. The stained recipes cards have the best recipes. But what hasn’t changed is the sweet and moist date nut bread. I like it the second day better than the first. It’s mandatory to refrigerate it for maximum flavor. If you are so inclined, it freezes beautifully and is always a welcomed gift.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a bread loaf pan. I like to line it with parchment so the bread releases easily after cooling.
1 cup boiling water
1 cup chopped dried dates
1 tsp. baking soda
1 pat butter
2 eggs, room temperature, separated
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts or additional chopped dates (optional)
Preparing the dates:
In a, preferably, glass bowl, place one cup of chopped dates, 1 tsp. baking soda and one pat of butter. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over date mixture. Let cool to room temperature, for about 1/2 hour.
Separate the eggs. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat until stiff. Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and stir them until well mixed.
Into the cooled date mixture, add the egg yolks, sugar, flour, vanilla extra and the nuts/dates, if you desire. You can also leave out the nuts and additional dates. Stir until completely mixed. Fold in the egg whites. Be careful to gently fold them so you don’t deflate the egg whites.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour. I always check at 50 minutes, just in case. When done baking, place on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. Take the bread out of the pan and cool completely. Once cooled, I place the bread in a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge or freezer.