Pumpkin Spice Bread

There was a convergence of circumstance at my house this holiday season: I was broke, we were almost out of weekday freezer breakfasts, and we had grown a TON of beautiful winter squash.  And so like a good farmer, I went in search of a pumpkin bread recipe as a solution for all three problems.  There are a lot of DRY quick bread recipes out there so I was on the look out for one with high oil content, lots of eggs, and a medium-to-high amount of pumpkin.  I found a great one which I modified a little and I instantly fell in love!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-⅓ cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, well-packed
  • 2 cups (or 1 can) cooked pumpkin
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water << add only if you are using canned pumpkin!  Home pumpkin is usually a little more watery and doesn’t need loosening up.
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raw pepita seeds (optional)
dry ingredients

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt).

eggs and sugar

Mix the eggs, sugars, and oil in a separate bowl. Incidentally, the two eggs on the left were store-bought.  The two on the right were from my hennies…

squash

Add the pumpkin. You can use canned pumpkin from the store, or any kind of pre-cooked/blended winter squash. I had some wonderful Sweet Meat Squash in the freezer from earlier in the season and used that.

wet ingredients

Stir or whisk until well blended. You can see that I should have used a larger bowl for mine. It was difficult to get it well blended without it slopping out of the bowl…

adding raisins

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until they are about halfway incorporated. Add (or have your helpers add) a few handfuls of raisins. We used golden, but it doesn’t really matter which kind you pick.  I think chocolate chips would work well, too!

perfectly stirred

Stir them in until you can’t see any of the flour anymore. But don’t over-stir. I use a wooden spoon for this part because it can get a little lodged in a whisk…

dishwasher

Get someone to do your dishes. Bonus points if they are wearing a ball gown.

batter and pans

Divide the batter equally among three medium-sized pans, two large pans, or 36 well greased muffin tins (or any combination of those options). I sprinkled some raw pepita seeds on top for a splash of color. You can use sunflower seeds or leave them off all together. These loaves will crack a little on the top so it looks nice to have something teetering on the top of the edge of the divide.

Bake for about an hour at 350 degrees if you are using loaf pans.  About 30 mins for muffins.  If you go any higher with the temperature the edges will burn and it will dry out.  That isn’t delicious.  Just keep it low and slow until the aforementioned cracking happens and it is completely done in the center.

What I loved the most about this recipe is how completely dense and moist it turns out.  It isn’t fluffy like a cake… it has some body to it, but it is really moist.  I froze about six loaves and made more for others for Christmas.  Even made a gluten-free version for my mom! (which I sort of burned, but she was a good sport and just cut the edges off).  A slice makes a wonderful on-the-go breakfast or take it hot from the oven to share at a winter brunch.

I photographed the creation of this recipe exactly THREE times, and never remembered to get a picture of the finished product.  {eye roll}  So once the loaf from the freezer thaws out, I’ll put one up 🙂  In the meantime, here is one I shameless stole from the interwebs that looks as delicious as mine!

pumpkin-bread2

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