A few weeks ago, we discovered that Will LOVES pumpkin bread. Since he's often too busy to be bothered with eating (after all, who can eat when there are trains to push, trucks to drive, and big words like po-me-gra-nate, a-va-ca-do and re-fri-ger-at-or to say loudly?), we are always thrilled to find something he's willing to make time for.
The recipe is from my new favorite cookbook, Recipes From The Root Cellar. I doubled it and made one loaf with almonds (for me) and one loaf with chunks of crystallized ginger (for my husband who is wild about the stuff). Will can eat both, of course. Had I had them on hand, I might have added mini chocolate chips to one of the loaves, too...
The result is gooood. A sweet, rich, moist loaf with just the right amount of spice and flavor. Excellent plain and even better toasted and spread with butter or cream cheese.
This recipe calls for butter but if you don't eat dairy, there are many others out there that use oil instead of butter. I used canned pumpkin but you can also use leftover squash purees (even if they're already flavored or spiced) or make your own pumpkin puree if you've got the time. If you do that, just remember to seek out a pumpkin meant for eating -- the ones we carve would taste gross!
Enjoy! Wishing you and yours a sweet new year.
Pumpkin Bread With Almonds & Crystallized Ginger
Makes one loaf
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsps baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs (use pasture-raised if you can get 'em)
- 1 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin or winter squash
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds or chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) or
- 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger (optional) or
- 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium bowl.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the butter and brown sugar until well-blended. Beat in the eggs and pumpkin/squash until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture then fold in the optional ingredients (nuts, ginger, chocolate). Scrape the batter into the greased loaf pan.
4. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove from the pan and cool completely.
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