Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

It's that time of year! I love the fall and all the wonderful flavors it has to offer. I especially adore pumpkins and all the delightful treats you can make with them - sweet and savory. I just love the fall spices and the way they make your home smell when you have something tasty baking in the oven.

To bring in the season properly, I have to bake this notoriously good pumpkin bread recipe that I got, no joke, from my high school cooking class. Luckily, my teacher didn't say it was patented or copyright, so I'm happy to pass it along.

I've tried this with freshly made pumpkin puree, canned, organic, non-organic, you name it, and it's always good. I unfortunately didn't find the quality between fresh and canned pumpkin to be worth the effort of steaming/roasting it myself, so have to go against my desire to make everything from scratch and say it's canned pumpkin all the way for this recipe.

Pumpkin Bread:

Preheat to 350˚
1. Prep baking pans:
  • 3 greased loaf pans (bake for 30-40 minutes)
  • Large loaf pan for (bake for 1 hour)
  • muffin tins (12-24 muffins depending on how full you fill them and bake for 20-30 minutes).
2. Whisk together dry ingredients in large bowl and make a well in the center:

3-1/2 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1tsp Cinnamon
1tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Ginger
1/8 tsp Cloves

3. Mix together liquid ingredients in a medium sized bowl:
3 C Sugar
¾ C Oil
4 Eggs
2/3 C Water
15oz. Can Pumpkin (~2 cups)

4. Add liquid ingredients to the well mix and stir/whisk together until combined.
5. Pour into preferred baking tin(s).
6. Bake recommended times based on pan size. Check doneness with a toothpick. Done when pick comes out clean and the tops are lightly browned.

Optional toppings:

Cinnamon Sugar:
Before baking, sprinkle a mix of 2 tbs sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon over the top of the bread for a crispy baked topping.

Orange Glaze:
After baking (either while warm or when cooled), drizzle a mix of ½ cup powdered sugar and 1-½ tbs orange juice over the bread and allow it to cool.

I definitely recommend and prefer the orange glaze. I really like the cinnamon sugar topping on other breads, such as zucchini, but you really can't go wrong with something like that.

I find this recipe to be stupendously reliable, moist, flavorful, incredibly easy and fast to make, and versatile - you can make it into cupcakes by simply adding cream cheese frosting! Which, on that note, is October's cupcake of the month.

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