Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

What do you write about for your 101st post? I have another hundred in me, at least, so I’ll start this new centennial of blogging with last night’s dessert and this morning’s breakfast: pumpkin bread. It’s seasonal, spicy, and pretty, which is something to look forward to any time on a blustery day. The slices are firm enough to withstand a tanning session in the toaster. Toasted pumpkin bread with a little butter, oh boy!

This recipe comes from Joy of Cooking. It’s Katie’s favorite cookbook (she calls it her Bible, though she doesn’t understand why it doesn’t have canning instructions) and it’s on my kitchen counter, there for the grabbing. Joy’s recipe seemed more complicated than it needed to be, adding wet to dry ingredients in thirds, and I knew it could be simpler. I simply mixed the wet ingredients, stirred the dry ingredients together in another bowl, then mixed them all together. That’s it. The ingredients are the same, I’ve just saved a few steps. I was in charge of Henry, who was toddling around while Katie was in the basement searching for my blender. It was chilly in the apartment when the inspiration to make pumpkin bread hit me (to warm up this space waiting for its heat to be hooked up). Henry was about to push “delete” on his Uncle Joe’s computer (yes, Joe lives with us too, for the undefined moment, and his drooly 1-year old hounddog Hayden…it’s beyond cozy). I grabbed the toddling one and asked for his assistance. He helped me stir everything together.

This baked up beautifully in a greased 9x5 glass loaf pan, in just about an hour. It looked like it needed a couple minutes more than the hour called for in the recipe (still a little wet on top), so I turned the oven down and left it in for five minutes more, until it bounced back in the middle when I pressed lightly with my finger. After about half an hour out of the oven, I removed it from the pan to cool on a rack. After a half hour more, we cut in to it, and with a little smear of soft butter, said “Oh my!”.

I shared a slice with friends Sue and Kim at lunch today.

PUMPKIN BREAD (adapted from Joy of Cooking)

This loaf can be made with any cooked mashed squash, yams, or sweet potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Whisk dry ingredients together:

1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves (didn’t use cloves, not a fan)

In a separate, large bowl, beat until fluffy:
6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) butter, softened, or 1⁄3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1⁄3 cups sugar or 1 cup sugar plus 1⁄ 3 cup packed brown sugar

Add to butter mixture, and beat well:
1⁄3 cup water or milk (I used buttermilk because I have it)
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat in one at a time:
2 large eggs

Add and beat on low speed just until blended:
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree (half of my Libby’s can)

Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
If desired, fold in:
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1⁄3 cup raisins or chopped dates

Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

Photo credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment