The first time you taste this bread -- the first time you experience its moist, fluffy texture, or bite into a cluster of pitted and soaked medjool dates, which form ribbons of caramel-like sweetness throughout the loaf -- you’ll take back any doubts you might ever have harbored about vegan baked goods.
Dates and walnuts are a classic pairing, and rightly so: The earthy crunch of walnuts contrasts beautifully with soft, sugary dates. I like to soak the dates in boiling water before I make this bread; it adds moisture and ensures that the dates become a little melty as the bread bakes (a very, very good thing). To provide that characteristic buttery taste that we all know and love in traditional quickbreads, I use coconut oil; and to create some binding without eggs, I grind and soak flax meal, a handy and versatile tool in vegan baking.
More: Not quite convinced? Try this decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake.
The result is this delightful loaf, which is great for teatime, dessert, breakfast, or, well, whenever. Consider it for your Easter table, or make your mother very pleased when you present it to her on May 11th.
Serves 8 to 10
1 1/2 heaping cups pitted medjool dates, chopped into small pieces
2 cups boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup almond or soy milk
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon flax meal, mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water and allowed to thicken for a few minutes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Photos by James Ransom