Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Place the dates and baking soda in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over the top and allow to cool. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the bowl in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt.
When cool, pour the water and dates into the sugar and egg mixture. Whisk to combine.
Use a spatula to gently stir in the flour and nuts. Take care not to overmix the batter, which can make the bread tough.
Divide the mixture between the two greased loaf pans. Bake for 55–65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with dry crumbs attached.
Alternatively, you can bake this recipe in tin cans. Grease five or six clean #2 cans (#2 cans typically hold 20 oz of fruit, vegetables, etc.). Divide the mixture between the cans, filling each can halfway full. Bake for 50–55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with dry crumbs attached.