Leora Wilson’s Date Bread Recipe – 1955

Date Bread Best When Served Day Following Baking

“Our guest recipe editor this week is Mrs. Leora Wilson, who with her mother, Mrs. Laura Goff have been residents of Guthrie Center since 1948. Late in 1947 Mrs. Goff of Omaha and her daughter Mrs. Wilson of Perry decided to build a “halfway” house for other members of their families, and chose Guthrie Center as the likely spot for the house, so by February 1948 the house was ready to be occupied.

“Mrs. Wilson, who does most of the cooking in her spacious kitchen, has raised seven children, four of whom still live. Three sons, all air corps officer pilots in World War Two, were killed, namely Dale, killed in the Pacific area; Daniel in the European area, and Clayburn Jur. [sic] in the U.S. in Texas in a plane crash. The other four children, all now with families of their own, include: Mrs. Doris Neal of Dexter, Mrs. Darlene Scar of Earlham, Donald of Washington state, and Delbert of Des Moines.

“The recipe we are using today is a family favorite of the Wilsons, having been served many, many times during the years.”

Date Bread

2 1/2 cups white, all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups fresh dates, chopped
1/2 cup walnut meats, chopped
1 egg, well beaten
2 cups sour milk or buttermilk
3 tablespoons melted shortening

Sift together: white flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir in whole wheat flour, dates, and nuts. Combine egg and sour ilk. Add to flour mixture, stirring only 'til well mixed. Add shortening. Turn into a greased loaf pan and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for one hour. Remove from the pan and cool uncovered before storing. Best not used until the next day.

This is an excellent bread for sandwiches or for serving at teas in fancy shapes and cuts.

1955 – The Times, Guthrie Center, Iowa


    • I was surprised at the sandwich part! Like sour cream, only milk, I guess. (My mother-in-law makes Sour Cream Raisin Pie, but says the commercial sour cream just isn’t right!)

  1. Liz hit a cord – yes – yes I remember this bread served with cream cheese in the 50’s and 60’s. My Mom always served it that way. Thank you for sharing the recipe

    • I don’t remember Grandma Leora doing much baking, and Mom mentioned that her mother cooked things about the simplest way she could. She fixed a big pan of “pumpkin pudding” instead of going to the trouble to make pies for her gang.

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