Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Pumpkin Bread

The chill in the air and the discovery of a can of pumpkin puree in the cupboard made me want pumpkin bread. I wasn't exactly in a baking mood at the time, but the only other way to satisfy my craving would be to hand over $2.25 to Starbucks for one lousy slice. (Not that their pumpkin bread is lousy--on the contrary, it is quite good.) 

As much as I love sweet treats with pumpkin in them, I rarely, if ever, bake pumpkin bread. I wracked my brain to remember the last time I made one and could only come up with a pumpkin fruitcake that I concocted a couple years ago. (That was pretty tasty, in a fruit-cake-y kind of way.) So I fooled around with a couple of different pumpkin bread recipes until I came up with one that I liked. It's very moist, and nicely spicy, with a bit of nuts and fruit for texture. You can certainly omit them, if you want, or swap the walnuts and cranberries out for pumpkin seeds, pecans, dried apricots, or dried apples. Raisins, too, if you must, but the raisin-hater in me does not approve.

Spicy Pumpkin Bread

2 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until well-combined. Stir in the pumpkin, oil, and vanilla.

In another bowl, soft together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture, making sure there are no lumps. Stir in the pepitas, dried cranberries, and walnuts.

Pour into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick, when inserted into the cake, comes out without crumbs on it. Alternately, pour batter into (3) 5 3/4 x 3-inch mini loaf pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Cool cake in the pan for 10 (5) minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool the rest of the way.

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