I modified Peggy's recipe as follows: I used a mixture of whole wheat pastry flour and white bread flour (about 2 C WW, and 2-1/2 C WBr); I used brown, rather than white, sugar; I used three Tbs. of melted ghee, rather than margarine; and instead of vanilla extract, I cooked a split vanilla bean in the water before adding it to the dates (I used Medjool dates and walnuts). Since many of the reviewers seemed to think the 300 F baking temperature was inadequate, I baked the breads at 350--it took about an hour and twenty minutes before the tester came out clean.
I think perhaps the vanilla bean was a bit too much--although I love the scent, it tends to overpower the dates, and so I may just use a teaspoon of extract next time. It came out not nearly as dense and heavy as I thought it might--mine seemed just about the right balance between moist and dry, and came out quite well leavened, like a banana bread.
The one other thing I might try, next time, is using less sugar--the dates I used were already extremely sweet, and so I probably could have gotten away with only ONE cup of sugar, rather than two. As it is, I think the bread is just a little bit too sweet, but tomorrow I'll try it sliced, lightly toasted, and with a dab of cream cheese.
On the whole, it worked out well, but I don't know what might have happened had I tried baking it at 300 until it was completely done.
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I modified Peggy's recipe as follows: I used a mixture of whole wheat pastry flour and white...