Cheddar and Date Nut Bread

Today is one of those days were everyone wishes they could stay inside their homes, next to the fire and their cozy beds. In order to pass the time, everyone has their own “loves” to occupy themselves, mine would be baking. I love whipping up several new recipes and picking out my favorites while drinking a cup of tea. Here are several I want to try: Whole Wheat Scones and Low Fat Pomegranate Scones. I also have been reading through Tea Time Entertaining and found this bread. It would completely different from any other kind of bread I have made. The dates add a sweetness to the bread, and I increased the amount of cheese and added some mustard to increase the cheese taste. For afternoon tea, I smeared some cream cheese and topped it with tomato slices.

Cheddar and Date Nut Bread
Courtesy of Dolores Snyder

½ cup chopped dried dates
1 cup hot strong tea
2 cups self-rising flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon mustard
¼ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup Cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 large egg, beaten

In a small bowl, soak dates in the tea for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. In large mixing bowl, sift flour with salt, sugar, mustard, and baking soda. Use a pastry blender to cut in butter evenly to resemble coarse meal. Add cheese and walnuts, tossing to mix. Drain tea from dates and save tea. Add dates to flour mixture. Toss to mix. Whisk egg with tea, and add the dry ingredients. Stir to combine quickly. Spread batter in loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes or until skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out on wire rack to cool.
Yields: 20 slices.

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