Walnut, Date and Orange Bread

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Current obsession in my kitchen: Recreating a granola I like to order at my go-to coffee shop. It’s an expensive habit, so I set out to reverse-engineer it at home. One of the key ingredients is dates, those large raisin-like dried fruits that have lots of delightful health benefits. I bought a bag of whole, pitted dates for my granola, and they are the perfect sweet addition.

But what to do with the rest of the bag?

Make bread!

This is a combination of about four different recipes, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. We’ve got nuts, we’ve got Greek yogurt, we’ve got a hint of citrus. I used very whole wheaty bread, and olive oil to keep it rather savory. There isn’t any added sugar, which makes this a somewhat crusty and dense loaf you can feel good about eating in the morning.

Hint: Slather it with some ricotta cheese, or smooth almond butter.

Walnut, Date and Orange Bread

Cooking spray or oil (canola or olive)

1 cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

4 eggs

½ cup plain Greek yogurt, preferably whole milk or 2 percent

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 orange

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

½ cup pitted dates, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a loaf pan with oil or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk in the yogurt and the olive oil until combined with the eggs. Grate the orange over a microplaner or small grater to get about 1 tablespoon orange zest. Fold into the egg-yogurt mixture. Halve orange, then squeeze the juice from one half into the mixture and stir well.

Whisk in the flour and fold in the walnuts and dates. Scrape dough into the loaf pan.

Bake about 45 minutes, until nicely browned and a tester comes out clean. It may need a few more minutes in the oven, but mine was ready just after 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a bit in the pan. Remove to a cooling rack. Serve immediately or slice and freeze until ready to eat.

Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times