The Loma Prietan - November/December 2005

Cooking Green Recipe

Pecan, Date, and Orange Bread

by Kay Bushnell

This is a delicious quick bread. Wrap small loaves to give as gifts, and attach a sprig of greenery. Keep tightly wrapped loaves in your freezer for holiday entertaining.

  • 1 cup of orange juice, fresh or reconstituted from frozen
  • 1/3 cup grated orange zest (the orange part of the peel)
  • 1 cup dates, chopped (slice pitted dates cut into 1/4" rounds)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups flour (unbleached all-purpose flour OR half unbleached and half whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Line the bottom of a 4-1/ 2"x8-1/2" glass loaf pan with baking parchment and rub a light layer of canolabased Spectrum Spread on the inner sides of the baking pan. Alternatively, use two 3-1/4" x 5-1/2" metal pans, or three 3"x5-1/4" metal pans. Pre-heat oven to 350°.

Remove zest from a fresh orange with a zester or grater, and add it to orange juice. Blend in chopped dates, sugar, and canola oil. In a separate bowl sift or stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and soda. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture along with the chopped pecans, and stir until just combined.

Pour mixture into baking pan or pans, and bake about 45-50 minutes for large loaf pan. Begin to check the cooking progress of the smaller loaves at 30 minutes and at subsequent 5 minute intervals. Remove loaves from oven when they are rounded, springy to the touch, and a rich, light golden tan. To test doneness, a clean broom straw inserted into the middle of the loaf should be clean when withdrawn.

Allow loaf to cool completely. Run a knife around the edge to loosen the loaf, and remove it from pan. Wrap it tightly in wax paper, enclose it in aluminum foil, and store it in refrigerator or freezer.

Copyright, Kay Bushnell