Oh my — it has been quite a while since I have participated in Beth Fish’s weekly meme, although I try to read all the posts of those who faithfully contribute.
Since I am now officially on Christmas break, however, one of the first things that I want to do is reconnect with my blogging friends. So I figured what better way to do that than to share a favorite holiday recipe with all my online readers.
Ever since I was a little girl I remember my mom making Bishop’s Bread each December. When I was about five years old I would “help” by cutting the cherries in half with a pair of scissors, and then cutting the dates into thirds. My hands would be sticky and I am sure that I made more of a mess than I actually helped, but I fondly remember taking part in this Coleman tradition.
|Photo courtesy of: Tasting Spoons|
My father loved Bishop’s Bread, so Mom would always make two: one for Christmas and one to freeze for my dad’s birthday in February. The bread is so dense that it freezes wonderfully and tastes just as good thawed two months later as it does fresh out of the oven.
I have no idea where Bishop’s Bread originates. I am sure that Mom found the recipe in a magazine – although the original source has been lost for quite some time now. It is reminiscent of fruitcake, but make no mistake, this tastes like no fruitcake you have ever eaten. The combination of dates, walnuts, candied cherries and chocolate chips, bound with just enough flour to hold it together, makes for an irresistible dessert or early morning pick-me-up with a strong cup of coffee.
I hope to make at least two loaves this week keeping the tradition of eating one now and freezing another for after the new year. Should you decide to try this as well, please let me know how you what you think!
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking power
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 cups chocolate chips
- 4 cups chopped walnuts
- 1 pound chopped dates
- 1 pound halved candied cherries
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups sugar (*edit — this was inadvertently omitted in the original post)
- 1/4 cup oil
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour – baking powder – salt
- Add to the dry ingredients the chocolate chips – walnuts – dates – cherries
- Toss together to thoroughly coat
- In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and oil (*edited to include the sugar)
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir by hand until thoroughly mixed
- Bake in two prepared 9×5 loaf pans in a 325 degree oven for approximately 1 hour