Crumby date nut bread
I made BF some date nut quick bread this week and it is very crumby, will not hold together. I'd like to master this because BF loves date nut bread. I used a recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book (an oldie but a goodie) and the recipes in there are usually good. But I did make some changes, so if anyone could help me figure out what to do better next time I would appreciate it.
Here's the recipe, with notes on my changes, which may have been fatal.
2 cups whole wheat flour (I used wwh pastry flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. mace
1/2 tsp. salt
6 TBLSP butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1/2 cup milk (OK, here was where I may have made the fatal mistake. I soaked 1/2 cup of dried apples in some apples juice and then drained them for the bread. I used the apple juice in place of the milk. Didn't think it would make a huge difference, but maybe it did?)
1 cup chopped dates (I used 1/2 cup dates and 1/2 cup diced dried apples that I soaked overnight in apple juice and then drained and chopped)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp. grated orange rind (I used one tsp. dried orange rind)
Sift together dried ingredients. Cream butter and sugar and beat in eggs. Add dry ing. to mix alternately with milk. Fold in dates, nuts, rind. (I mixed the rind in with the wet ingredients and mixed the fruit in with the flour to ensure even distribution).
Place in a greased loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 60-75 minutes. Cool for 5 min. (Note: this was way too long. Mine was somewhat overcooked at 55 min. So maybe over cooking may have been responsible for the dryness. Not sure why the long cooking time, or maybe my oven runs hot.)
So those are my thoughts, either subbing apple juice for the milk or too long baking may have dried it out? Or a combination. Just what does milk do for baked good anyway. I know it makes for a "softer" product with yeast bread.