Pumpkin Bread

Y’all, let me get all Paula Deen up in here for a minute.  This bread is goooood with like, four syllables.

I used real pumpkin puree I cooked myself, and once you have the puree, it’s crazy easy to throw together.  It is delicious toasted with butter for breakfast.

The recipe comes from the Joy of Cooking.

You will need:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup water or milk (I used whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar, or 1 cup sugar plus 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (I did all brown sugar!)
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
optional: 1/3 cup raisins or walnuts (I left these out)

1.  I hate to say this now that you are all ready to go, but everything needs to be room temperature.  What you can do is mix together the dry ingredients (the first seven ingredients listed) in a large bowl.  Then leave the bowl on the counter.  Measure out the milk, pumpkin puree, and butter and leave them along with the eggs on the counter and come back in an hour.

I had a lovely assistant take my pictures.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Grease an 8-cup bread pan and set aside.

3. At this point, you can make your brown sugar if you don’t have any handy.  I really like this trick I learned a few years ago, because I always have fresh brown sugar in the exact amount I need, so it never dries out in my pantry!

For a cup of sugar, measure out a tablespoon or so of molasses.  It’s not an exact science or anything.  Using a fork, mix together the sugar and molasses until it looks like brown sugar.

And you’re done!
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat your butter until it’s creamy, about 30 seconds.
5. Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed until lightened in color, 3-4 minutes.
6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
7.  Add the pumpkin puree and beat until just blended.
8.  Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla mixture, beating on low speed and scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
9.  Here it is, ready to go in the pan.
10.  And into the pan it goes.
11.  Put in the oven and bake about one hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  This took an extra maybe 20 minutes with my oven.  You want bread that is moist, but NOT runny!  When it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before attempting to take it out of the pan.
How gorgeous does this look?
This pumpkin bread did not last long in our house.  Thankfully, I made enough puree to make a second loaf.  I’m going to experiment with butternut squash too.  This bread is so nice and spicy, and not too sweet.  You can also make it with canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!) if you don’t have cooking pumpkins on hand.

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