This close-kept family recipe yields a chewy, moist, addictively delicious loaf that is even better toasted.
1 1/2 cups bran
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar (white, brown or coconut sugar)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
generous 1/2 cup raisins
4 dates, chopped, pits removed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine bran and milk and let sit.
- In a small microwavable bowl, cover raisins and dates with water. Microwave for 40 seconds (this will help them to be plump and juicier in the finished loaf). Drain liquid, pressing the dried fruit slightly with the back of a spoon, and then set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar and baking powder.
- In a large bowl, beat together molasses and baking soda until golden in color, about 3 minutes.
- Add flour mixture to molasses mixture in two batches, scraping down bowl as needed. Beat until just evenly incorporated.
- Add bran mixture and beat again for 30 seconds, until incorporated.
- Fold in raisins and dates.
- Let the batter rest while you coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Pour batter into pan and bake for 40 minutes. Check on the loaf and, if the top is looking like it’s in danger of burning, tent it with tin foil. After 45-55 minutes, stick a toothpick in the center- it should come out almost clean. This bread is supposed to be chewy and can always be toasted when eaten. If after you take it out of the oven you cut into the center and it’s still too gooey, leave the loaf in the pan on the counter, tent it with tin foil and it should set up.
- Store in an airtight container and enjoy cold or toasted with a generous dollop of homemade jelly.
Makes 1 loaf