ORANGE PISTACHIO DATE BREAD
Rich in the flavors of the Middle East - dates, nuts and citrus - a
small slice of this moist, dense loaf adds a semi-sweet counterpart
to a savory meal, like turkey and dressing. This bread also makes a
warmly satisfying holiday breakfast, toasted and served with cream
Yield: one 9 x 5-inch loaf
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup orange juice
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup coarsely chopped shelled pistachios
Place a rack in the lower third of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Mix the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder and salt
together in one bowl.
In another bowl, mix the milk, orange juice, zest and vanilla extract.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl
until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs.
Gradually beat in the flour mixture and milk mixture using low speed
or by hand, alternating in 3 parts. Stop when the batter has just
come together - do not over-beat. Fold in the dates and pistachios.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake about 70 minutes, until a
wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on
rack 10 minutes.
Unmold and set loaf on rack to cool completely.
Can be stored well-wrapped and refrigerated for 2 days before serving.