I made this into three mini-loaves. They rose quite nicely (don't worry if the batter seems to fill only half of the pan). I didn't have figs, so I used golden raisins and very high quality dates (whole, chopped them myself). I also omitted the walnuts (personal preference). The texture is excellent! My friends are quite the epicureans and it is very difficult to find a loaf that appeals to them. This did it! A bit on the sweet side for them, so I will reduce the amount of sugar next time. It toasts very well and I really do think the whole wheat flour is key. I had considered using only all-purpose flour, but I always try to follow the recipe exactly the first time (yes, I know, I substituted raisins and made 3 mini-loaves instead of 1 large one). The dark color really makes it an attractive loaf. Excellent! Will definitely be adding this to my repertoire! Thank you so much! Other alternatives I plan to try:
1. Dates and dried apricots
2. Pre-chopped dates
3. Dates with figs!!!
4. Dates with date syrup (found in Middle Eastern and Whole Foods stores). Date syrup adds the dark, rich flavor without the sweet.
10 Mar 2006
Try this with dates, golden raisins, 1/4 c. thinly sliced crystallized ginger, 1/3 c sugar (since the ginger is sugared), 1/2 tsp clove essence and 1/2 tsp rum essence. If the dates are pre-chopped or generally drier, the resulting bread will be drier.
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I made this into three mini-loaves. They rose quite nicely (don't worry if the batter seems...