Galaxy has been vegetarian for twenty years and a vegan 'dabbler' for six months. She loves exploring all aspects of alternative lifestyles.
Artisan Breads Look Complicated but This Recipe for Date and Walnut Loaf is Simple Enough for a child to make.
Date and Walnut Loaf
Bread. The Ultimate Comfort Food.
In my opinion, a vegan-friendly fresh date and walnut loaf served still warm from the oven is just about the ultimate comfort food. It has a slightly sweet taste and a very satisfying, soft, moist texture. Nothing tastes or smells, better than a homemade loaf of bread, but dealing with yeast and proving the dough can be a bit of a pain. It can also go wrong sometimes if you don’t keep the temperature constant the dough won‘t rise and the resulting loaf of bread will be flat and hard and, quite frankly, inedible.
This recipe is a foolproof method for making a delicious vegan date and walnut loaf that doesn’t need yeast or time to prove. You do need a proper loaf tin to bake this bread in though, remember to grease it well before use and the bread will come out perfectly every time.
Getting enough protein is very important for both vegetarians and vegans, this dish is helpful in that it contains walnuts. Walnuts are one of the very best sources of plant protein, they are also very rich in dietary fibre, magnesium, vitamin E and are a good source of antioxidants too. Scientific studies have shown that including walnuts in the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. Walnuts help to improve the elasticity of blood vessels and lower plaque build up.
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Makes one large loaf
- 4oz self raising flour
- 4oz sugar
- 2tsp cinnamon
- 2oz dates, chopped
- 3oz walnuts, chopped
- 1oz softened butter, or vegan spread
- 5floz water, hand hot
- 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch salt
- Sift the flour, sugar, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Give it a quick stir to mix.
- Throw in the chopped walnuts and dates and give the mixture a more thorough stir.
- In a separate pan put the water and butter onto the hob and bring to the boil, once boiled gradually stir in the dry ingredients.
- Keep stirring at this stage or the mixture will become lumpy. If it does start to become lumpy take it off the heat for a moment and beat the lumps out before returning to the stove top.
- Pour this mixture into a well greased 1 lb loaf tin and put the tin into a preheated moderate 180c oven. Bake the loaf for around fifty minutes. Check the loaf after forty minutes as it can cook faster.
- The date and walnut loaf is cooked when a knife or skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes away clean remove the loaf tin from the oven and cool the loaf for five minutes in the tin before turning the loaf out onto a cooling rack.
Big Loaf or Small rolls. It's Your Choice.
You can also use this mixture to make small rolls, form the mixture into rounds and bake on a flat, greased baking sheet for 35-40 minutes. The rolls are done when they sound hollow if tapped on the bottom.
This date and walnut loaf goes particularly well with cheese (vegan or vegetarian) and pickles. You can freeze this loaf on the day you baked it and it will keep well wrapped in cling film in the freezer for at least a month. Make sure it is completely cold before wrapping or it will sweat and be soggy when you defrost it. Remove at least four hours before needed and refresh in a moderate oven for ten minutes before using if you want a crisp crust. At this stage you can also sprinkle some grated cheese over the top of the loaf before baking, it gives it a beautiful crunchy crust and tastes wonderful.
If you want to make this date and walnut loaf vegan-friendly and not just vegetarian then replace the ounce of butter with a vegan spread or vegetable oil. It will taste just as good and will still rise.
Storage of the Vegan Loaf.
This great tasting vegan-friendly date and walnut loaf will keep for three or four days. Wrap it in foil or clingfilm and keep it in a tin or bread bin. It tastes great toasted too. Serve it savoury or sweet with jam or marmalade. Enjoy.
© 2010 Galaxy Harvey