Thanksgiving Pumpkin Spice Bread

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Thanksgiving Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin Bread just seems to go along with Thanksgiving, doesn’t it? With the fall, really, I guess. Living out here in the country, pumpkin fields are a common sight, and this time of year, when the leaves of the plants have nearly all wilted, it almost looks like the pumpkins just sprang up from underground overnight.

You can make Pumpkin Bread with canned pumpkin, of course, but I prefer to start with a real, actual pumpkin. If you aren’t into that, just use canned – you can follow the recipe exactly the same way. [*see all the way at the bottom of the post for instructions on roasting a whole pumpkin]

Quick breads are made by combining all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, and all of the wet ingredients in another, and then combining the two, taking care not to stir it too much, which will give you bread that is tough and has large air holes in it. This recipe will make one large loaf, or 3 mini loaves, and you can easily increase it to make a double or triple batch, which can be handy if you want to give it to people as gifts, or you are expecting a lot of company.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses

Generously butter an 8 x 5 inch bread pan, or 3 mini loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350º
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice , nutmeg and salt. Whisk to combine thoroughly, and then, mix in the nuts.

In the bowl of a stand mixer [or a largish bowl if you are using a hand mixer or wooden spoon], beat the pumpkin puree and sugar, until well combined. Add the eggs and beat, then add the vanilla, oil and molasses and mix until very well combined.

Add the dry ingredients all at one and beat quickly, until incorporated into the pumpkin mixture. It can be a bit lumpy, but you don’t want bits of flour showing.

Scrape batter into pan[s] and smooth the top. Place in the oven, on the center rack, and bake about 45 – 55 minutes. The mini pans will take less time, perhaps 35 – 40 minutes. Test with a toothpick, inserted near the middle – it should come out clean, with no crumbs sticking. Remove from pan when done, and cool on a rack.Wrap leftovers tightly. This will keep for several days at room temperature, a good week in the refrigerator, and several months in the freezer.We like it toasted, with butter, or you can make little finger sandwiches, by spreading slices cut from the smaller loaves with sweetened cream cheese, and adding another slice on top. Cut each one in half. These are great on cookie or dessert trays.

*If you want to venture into cooking a whole pumpkin, I’ll be happy to help you out with a few pointers. [I don’t like to steam pumpkins, because I think they come out more watery, which dilutes the flavor and results in a puree that is too wet for this recipe.] Try to find the smaller pie pumpkins, sometimes called sugar pumpkins. They have more actual pumpkin in there, rather than a bunch of seeds and empty space. If all you can find are the big ones, not to worry, because they too, will work just fine. Remove the stem, if there is one, wash the exterior, and dry it off. Use a large sharp knife to cut the pumpkin in half, from top to bottom. Scrape out the seeds and as much of the stringy stuff as you can easily remove. Place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet [or two if your pumpkin is too big for both halves to fit on one sheet] Bake until the flesh is very soft. If a lot of liquid accumulates in the pan, I carefully pour it off, because if you leave it in the pan, the pumpkins will reabsorb it, which you don’t want. Don’t throw it way though – save for soups or whatever. When it is completely cooked through and very soft, remove from the oven, and cool, cut side up.

Once it is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape out the cooked flesh, and place it in a bowl large enough to hold all of it. You can really scrape right down to the skin. Discard the skin. I use an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin, or you can run it through a food mill, or do it in a food processor. You want it very very smooth. Place the puree into a wire mesh strainer, suspended over a large bowl. I drain it for 3 or 4 hours at room temperature, and then over night in the fridge. At that point, you can use it or freeze it in ziplock bags. Keep the liquid too – it is great in vegetable soup or risotto.


Donalyn is a long time food blogger - this is what she has to say about blogging for us: "My husband and I are blissful empty-nesters, enjoying the good life in rural Upstate NY. We grow a huge garden and are always looking for new challenges, the latest of which is brewing beer from our own home grown hops. My take on food is to use the freshest, most local food you can find and give it plenty of flavor. That is where The Great American Spice Company comes in. I've used their products for years, and I'm thrilled to be sharing some of our favorite recipes on their blog."
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