Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Bread that's Better than Mrs. X's

Mrs. X can bake some serious pumpkin items: pumpkin rolls, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, etc. My husband's gold standard of pumpkin deliciousness is anything pumpkin by Mrs. X. I was determined after my recent pumpkin acquisitions to put her bread to shame. And according to my husband, I did; and he does not take pumpkin baking lightly. I can't rave enough about the texture and crumb of this bread. It isn't too heavy like so many other pumpkin breads. It's a happy medium, doesn't really crumble, but not too chewy, it melts in your mouth. You could probably bake it in a cake pan and put cream cheese frosting on it, and call it cake- but sleep well knowing you got antioxidants from the safflower oil and fiber from the fresh pumpkin and whole wheat flour. Sorry, Mrs. X. Your reign of all things pumpkin is over.

Recipe for a Single Loaf

The Wet Ingredients:

5 oz of fresh pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used safflower oil)
1/4 cup of water (I used the liquid that seeps from baking the pumpkin)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 egg

The Dry Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup of flour (I used half whole wheat and half high-gluten white flour)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger

SIDE NOTE: I did a test loaf using sour cream as a substitute for the oil, and while it was very moist, the crust was not as caramelized as when using oil.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Grab a bread pan, butter or PAM the sides.

Take 2 mixing bowls: one for wet and one for dry ingredients.

Whisk together the dry ingredients thoroughly to ensure uniform distribution of spices and salts.

Use a hand mixer to blend the wet ingredients on medium high for 5 minutes or until uniform.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure the flour settles.

Beat on med high for 2 minutes.

Empty dough into bread pan.

Bake for 40 - 50 minutes, or until the bread passes the toothpick test.

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