Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holiday Orange, Date, and Pecan Bread, (Plus Some Tags and a Meme)

Orange, Date, and Pecan Bread

I have been tagged by the lovely Val of More than Burnt Toast to bake bread and help raise awareness of an international charity called Breadline Africa, which Jeanne of Cooksister has brought to the attention of food bloggers.

According to Jeanne, "Blogger Bake-off was launched by Breadline Africa on Blog Action Day. The slogan is bake bread, give dough and the aim is to raise $1 million in funds to help alleviate poverty in Africa. Their plan is to convert shipping containers into locations for food production and distribution in Africa. It is hoped that these sustainable community kitchens will not only provide food such as bread and soup to those in need, but also opportunities for skills development within poor communities."

Click here to find out how to get involved.

Bloggers can download the Blogger Bake-off widget and tag five other bloggers to do the same. There is no obligation to donate money; even mentioning it on your blog will help create awareness. Here are the 5 bloggers I'm tagging. It's great if you are able to participate, but no problem if you're not.

1. Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yums
2. Stacey of Stacey Snacks
3. Susan of Farm Girl Fare
4. Susan of Wild Yeast
5. Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups

Orange, Date, and Pecan Bread

Now for the bread. I am in love with succulent fresh Medjool dates, which are currently in season. Underneath their iridescent, crinkly skins is soft, sticky flesh that tastes like a mix of rich caramel, wild honey, and sweet cinnamon.

This moist, dense quick bread is chock full of dates and pecans and is laced with orange zest and a medley of spices -- a special bread for a special cause.

Did I mention it's low-fat? So if you have guests staying over for the holidays, it would be a deliciously light breakfast bread to serve the morning after a big turkey dinner.

Orange, Date, and Pecan Bread

Orange, Date, and Pecan Bread

Makes 4 mini loaves
Print recipe only here.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs plus 4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup pitted, coarsely chopped Medjool dates
1/2 cup pecans

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat 4 (5 X 3- inch) mini-loaf pans/tins with cooking spray. Adjust the number of pans accordingly based on the size you use. Just remember, with smaller pans, baking time will be shorter; with a larger loaf pan,baking time will be longer, by about 15 minutes.

In a medium size bowl, whisk the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, oil, orange juice, and orange zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and using a rubber spatula, mix until just incorporated. Fold in the dates and pecans. Divide the batter evenly among the pans.

Since breads bake more quickly using small pans, bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes are a deep golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack; let cool for 10 minutes, then unmold and place on a rack to cool to room temperature.

Orange, Date, and Pecan Bread

Like that nifty coffee mug? I received it at the BlogHer conference this past summer, courtesy of Elise of Simply Recipes. I'm sure you have all used it before, but just in case, is a wonderful tool. It archives recipes from over 2,600 blogs. So check it out!

I'm sending my bread to Lore of Culinarty who is looking for your original holiday inspired recipes for this month's Original Recipes round-up.

I want to give a shout out to Food Hunter of Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine who honored me with an I Love You This Much Award. I'm passing the love on to all of you!

Val also flattered me with this Kreative Blogger Award. Thank you, my dear!

Here are 5 more Kreative bloggers whom I admire for their creativity.

1. Aran of Cannelle et Vanille
2. Jude from Apples Pies, Patis, and Pates
3. Kate from Kate in the Kitchen
4. Kathy from Panini Happy
5. Oakley from lemonbasil

Now you five know what to do!

Last one! I have been tagged by Mark of No Special Effects to do the Commenter's Meme. Here's how it works.

List your last 10 commenters, (I wrote this post a couple of days ago, so I named the last 10 at that time), then answer the questions below:

1. deborah of Taste and Tell
2. maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita
3. meeta of What's for Lunch, Honey?
4. eatmedelicious
5. maris of Mad About Martha
6. mark of No Special Effects (I guess he's exempt since he tagged me for this!)
7. lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks
8. sarah of What Smells So Good?
9. chris of Melecotte
10. abby of Confabulation in the Kitchen


1. What is your favorite post from number 3's blog? I loved the post about her son, Soeren's, wish for a tree with all of his favorite berries on it.

2. Has number 10 taken any pictures that have moved you? Who wouldn't be moved by her sweet newborn, Cash?

3. Does #6 respond to comments on his/her blog? Yes, and he does a great job!

4. Which part of blogland is number 2 from? New York.

5. If you could give one piece of advice to number 7 what would it be? Keep on doing what you're doing.

6. Have you every tried something from number 9's blog? I haven't made an exact recipe, but I was inspired by her fig posts this past fall and made a couple of similar dishes.

7. Has number 1 blogged something that inspired you? Yeah, I'm smitten with her Chocolate Mint Cupcakes. How cute would these be for St. Patrick's Da

8. How often do you comment on number 4's blog? I'm not sure. So maybe I should do more!

9. Do you wait for number 8 to post excitedly? With the holiday baking season upon us, yes! Sarah is an amazing baker and contributed several wonderful cookies including Soetkoekies to my Eat Christmas Cookies Event last year.

10. How did number 5's blog change your life? Um, I just met her, so we're not that deep into the relationship yet.

11. Do you know any of the 10 bloggers in person? No, unfortunately.

12. Do any of your 10 bloggers know each other in person? Um, I don't know.

13. Out of the 10, which updates more frequently? I think Chris of Melecotte. And she works full time in a middle school. How much does she rock?

14. Which of the 10 keep you laughing? Mark. Come on, you know you're funny.

15. Which of the 10 has made you cry (good or bad tears)? Maryann. Her family posts always warm my heart.

Whew! Now if you 10 feel like playing along, you know the rules. If not, no worries.