Monday, December 8, 2008

Seasonal Eats - Pumpkin Bread

To me, nothing says fall and winter holidays like pumpkin (well, besides chocolate and peppermint), so when I was baking a pumpkin pie, I knew I wanted to try some other pumpkin inspired recipes. Seeing as the pumpkin bars I made earlier were such a hit, I decided to make some pumpkin bread with cranberries for Thanksgiving/post-Thanksgiving.

Adapting a recipe from The Joy of Baking, I made the pumpkin bread with some slight alterations, adding dried cranberries for a little extra holiday cheer. The bread was moist and carried an aroma of pumpkin pie spices, with just a hint of sweetness. It was delicious!

I brought some in for my coworkers as a Thanksgiving treat and they all enjoyed it (though obviously if you are not a fan of pumpkin pie, this pumpkin bread might not be your JAM). We ate it during the morning as a breakfast but certainly it could serve as a not so sweet dessert (probably delicious served warmed with ice cream).

Pumpkin Bread (makes 1 loaf)

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan (9x5).


Whisk together in a medium bowl:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Combine in a small bowl:
  • 1/3 cup water or milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Beat in a large bowl until fluffy:
  • 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  1. Once the butter and sugar are fluffy and well combined, add in 2 eggs, one at a time, and beat on low until well blended.
  2. While still beating on low, add in 1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree.
  3. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture, while beating on low, being sure to scrap down the sides of the bowl. Beat until smooth.
  4. Fold in 1/2 cup dried cranberries.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and spread evenly, ensuring batter is evenly distributed.
  6. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, approximately 1 hour.
  7. Let cool in pan for 5 to 10 mins before unmolding. Cool completely before cutting.
All in all, a 2 1/2 out of 3 JAMs. While the texture could have been a bit more moist and less crumbly (next time I will probably add a little more pumpkin), the flavor and aroma were amazingly fragrant and very very festive.


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