Everything about this recipe intrigued me, not to mention the fact that the recipe belonged to my great-grandma. Hmmm, where to start? I've heard of baking bread in cans but have never actually done it, that is until now. When I asked my great-aunt about this recipe she explained the reasoning behind the cans, "to make the loaf round, of course." Any other shape is apparently unthinkable.
recipe from my great-aunt, who got it from her mother, my great-grandmother
1-1/2 cups dates, chopped
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp butter
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 No. 2-1/2 cans**(see note below)
* To a large bowl add dates, baking soda and butter. Pour in boiling water and let cool to lukewarm.
* Add sugar, egg and vanilla, mixing well. Stir in flour and salt then fold in nuts. Pour into prepared cans and bake 50-60 minutes (or less if using smaller cans as described below). Let stand in cans 5 minutes before turning out.
**A No. 2-1/2 can holds approximately 3-1/2 cups and usually contains food weighing 27 to 29 ounces. If you don't have 3 cans this size try replacing one or more cans with two 15-ounce cans each (also called No. 300 cans, these cans hold approximately 2 cups). Reduce the baking time for the smaller cans. I made half of a recipe and used one 28-ounce can and one 15-ounce can.
Food for Thought: "The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, familiar things new." -William Makepeace Thackeray