25 September 2008

Pumpkin bread for Lauren

We are pumpkin fanatics in our house so I have a collection of pumpkin recipes that we rotate as soon as the first leaf turns yellow so we never get sick of our pumpkin goodies.

This is our favorite recipe for pumpkin bread and I often make extra loaves for neighbors in the autumn. It will fill your house with that perfect pumpkin baked good smell. (I have to confess to actually stepping outside just to step back in with a fresh nose so I can inhale the wonders of my autumn kitchen.)


Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Position oven racks in the lower third of oven, then preheat to 350.

Whisk together these dry ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

In a glass measuring cup combine and set aside:

  • 1/3 c milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl (all your ingredients will eventually end up here) or kitchen stand mixer beat until creamy:

  • 6 TB of softened unsalted butter (NOTE: don't use margarine and reduce salt above if you don't have unsalted butter for baking)

Then add in gradually:

  • 1 c white sugar plus 1/3 c brown sugar

Add in one at a time:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c pumpkin (NOTE: I usually add an additional 2-4 Tb of pumpkin)

Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the liquid mixture beating until just blended (I sometimes do this part by hand or on low speed on my stand mixer).

Spread into pan and bake for about 1 hour (sometimes it needs a few more minutes for the center to firm, but don't overbake.)

Optional variations:

  • 1/2 c pecans or 1/2 walnuts (fold in at the end)
  • 1/3 c dates diced or raisins (fold in at end)
  • 1/3 c shredded coconut, carrots, or zucchini (fold in at end)

This moist bread is great plain, with butter melted on top, with cream cheese, or for breakfast with an egg. If you're hankering for something extra sweet, you can mix in a small bowl some room temperature cream cheese with powdered sugar to make a frosting as well. I also sometimes wrap up a slice and HIDE it in the fridge (as only moms can do) because if I don't, I'll never get a second slice of this bread. Kevin and Savannah make it disappear like a rabbit in a hat.

With the additional pumpkin in the can, we usually make a pumpkin smoothie with pumpkin, ice, milk or milk substitute, 1/4 tsp of vanilla and 1/4-1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spices. It is a delicious treat and a great way to use your leftovers.

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