Monday, December 27, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

I like to make pumpkin bread the minute the weather starts changing. There's nothing like waking up to a hot cup of coffee and a thick slice of pumpkin bread. 

 To begin making your own pumpkin bread, you'll need a big ol' bowl and some sugar. Brown and white, to be exact.

Next is a cup of oil. I've really got to buy myself some new measuring cups, or at least get a Sharpie out and re-mark all the lines.

Give the sugar and the oil a nice stir and then crack four eggs. It seems like a lot, and, well, it is. This recipe makes a lot of pumpkin bread.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Next is some milk, just to thin things out a little.

Here's what makes this bread pumpkin bread.

I do enjoy canned pumpkin. It's so easy and convenient and consistent. I've noticed that the consistency differs between the brands, however. Libby's is very dense, while Festal and Farmer's Market Organic are less firm but have a richer smell. I was a little distressed this fall when canned pumpkin became hard to find (apparently the pumpkin harvest last year did not go well). Apparently cans of Libby's were selling on eBay for $6 to $7 apiece! How crazy.

Anyhow. After your pumpkin is mixed in, you'll need to season it. I used cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger.
Stir your spices in and then get ready for a flour-y mess as you add the dry ingredients--four, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. I try to add them in several additions to avoid white-out conditions in my kitchen.

I like to add some variables, so I threw in some walnuts. I've used pecans and dried cranberries before with great success.

Here's a tip--save the last half-cup of flour and add it the same time as the walnuts. The flour will coat the walnuts and will help keep the nuts from sinking to the bottom of your bread.

Now carefully pour your batter into your cake pans. Today I made two very large loaves, but I've also made them in mini loaf pans (I believe this recipe makes 6 or 8.)

Be sure to grease your pans well, so your loaves have no trouble coming out later.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean.

Another note--I used a metal loaf pan and a silicone loaf pan. I've noticed that the silicone always takes a little longer to bake. I suppose because the silicone doesn't retain heat like the metal. Just an observation.

Let your bread cool fully and then turn them out of their pans. Slice and enjoy! If you're planning on freezing your bread, wrap it well in cling wrap or press and seal wrap, and then again in tinfoil. It freezes amazingly well!

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 c. milk
1 can pumpkin
2 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 12 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
3/4 tsp. cloves

3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars and oil.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add milk, stirring well.

Add pumpkin, stirring well.

Add spices, stirring well.

Add flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in three additions, stirring gently after each addition.

Stir in nuts, if desired.

Pour into well-greased loaf pans and bake for 1 hour (mini loaf pans may take less time). Let cool completely before turning the bread out of pans. Store at room temperature or freeze.

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