Date + Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread has a Middle Eastern touch with the addition of sweet dates and an extra special spice mixture. It's such a crowd pleaser I wish I made 2 more to freeze. 

Using the loaf pan I used allowed for a larger capacity for the batter/dough. Using a traditional loaf pan, this recipe should yield two loafs of bread. Freeze one and have a slice of pumpkin heaven year round.

The first step to making this bread is peeling and pitting the dates. If you don't want to bother you can get pressed pitted dates already prepped for you. You can find them online (I got some from amazon once) or at Middle Eastern grocers.

Otherwise just buy a pack of dates, snack on a few and then get peelin'.

The skins should come of easily. They are also totally edible and have lots of nutrients in them, so you can snack on them as you peel.

Once you peel all the dates, go through them and pick out the seeds until all you have is the luscious sweet flesh of the dates. 

Dates are super sweet. They are nature's sweet treat and a healthier alternative to reach for when a sugar craving hits. If you are new to dates this recipe is a familiar and comforting way to slowly dip your toes in the date pond.

Now gather all your ingredients together so everything goes smoothly.

I know you can see my husky Raiden (yes, from Mortal Kombat) but when you see it.....

(The answer is at the end of the post if you're the type who gets really annoyed by not knowing such things.)

Now combine all the wet ingredients (except the dates) and dry ingredients separately.

Now gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined.

Once combined, stir in the dates making sure they are evenly distributed.

Chop the dates up and/or use your hands if you need too.

I used my hands and it got messy. But like, good messy. Not like Kardashian messy.

I hope you preheated your oven by now. If you haven't, feel ashamed and shake your head at your utter lack of preparedness. Then preheat the oven and grease your loaf pan while still shaking your head because you can't let shit go.

A note about my loaf pan: Yes, it's fucking amazing. Yes, it's completely unnecessary. No, I'm not sorry. It's from Williams-Sonoma and if you guys would like a chance to win one in a giveaway let me know in the comments and I'll do it. 

When you fill the loaf pan with the batter/dough make sure to leave about an inch unfilled to give it some space to rise.

Bake until a toothpick/knife stuck in the thickest part of the bread comes out clean. Since this pan was deeper and uneven at the bottom I ended up cooking it for about an hour and 20 minutes. Generally, it should take about an hour.

Yum.

Since I needed to flip my bread over to present it, I needed the top of the bread to be flat.

This is what I did:

The big reveal is always so exciting.

I let the bread cool on a baking rack before dusting with some powdered sugar and cutting myself a slice.

This bread is perfectly satisfying on its own but I can't wait to try it toasted with a smear of butter and a pumpkin spice latte #PSL

Here's an close up beauty shot:

(If you were wondering what the answer was to the "when you see it..." it's Primo, my Chihuahua, lurking in-between the legs of a dining chair. 

Soon.....)

 

RECIPE:

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup dates, peeled and pitted
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup of vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk (I used 2%, the more milk fat the moister the bread will be)
4 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
splash of vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix all the set the peeled and pitted dates aside.

Combine the rest of the wet ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

Stir in the dates, chop them if needed, make sure they are evenly distributed. Use your hands if you need to. I did and they are the best tools you have.

Once combined, pour the bread batter/dough into a greased loaf pan and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick/knife in the thickest part of the bread comes out clean.

Enjoy!