Pumpkin Bread: Because Who Says March is Too Late for Pumpkin Baked Goods?

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That’s what I’m eating right now.  It’s really effing good.  And I’ll even tell you how I did it.  But first:

Guys, Punchfork is going away.  I’m sad about this.

For those of you who don’t know, Punchfork is an awesome conglomeration of recipes from all kinds of food websites across the internets.  You can type in an ingredient or food and it lists pictures and links of endless recipes until you find what you want.  It’s kind of like a Pinterest of really good food recipes.  Which I guess is why Pinterest has bought it and is shutting it down as of the end of March.  As much as I like Pinterest, half the recipes there are crap, or don’t actually link to a recipe (just a picture) or link back to a blog but not the recipe, or a million other possibilities.  Anyway, you rarely actually get to the recipe you want from a picture or description that sounds good.  Which is why I liked Punchfork.  No crazy fake-out links.  And all quality recipes.  We found many a dinner recipe/inspiration on Punchfork (including Ryan’s thai shrimp rolls we assembled tonight).

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But I digress.  Anyway, tonight I was craving something sweet-ish but not too crazily desserty or decadent.  Well, I mean, it could have been all those things, but I was feeling fat, so that’s actually why I wanted to do something less decadent.

Also, an embarrassing amount of the canned foods in our pantry/shelf thing is pumpkin.  There’s way more pumpkin than I will reasonably use.  This is likely because in the early fall, I get excited about the prospects of all the autumnal pumpkin desserts in existence.  Then I proceed to eat pumpkiny things all fall, and into the winter because they’re literally everywhere.  Since we don’t really have seasons in LA, and certainly no falling leaves, you know autumn has arrived because all the coffee shops switchover to pushing their pumpkin lattes.

Anyway, after winter, all the grocery stores put pumpkin on sale because everyone has eaten themselves sick of pumpkin pies, cakes, lattes, the whole shebang.  Including myself.  But I swear that it will be a temporary thing, and I’ll be back to pumpkin by February.

That’s usually not the case.  Because something about pumpkin when the weather starts warming up and everything starts blooming again just seems weird.  And wrong.

But to hell with it.  I have a bunch of pumpkin, so I wanted to bake with it tonight.

Enter Punchfork.  Search “pumpkin.”  Some of the recipes seemed too cloyingly autumnal (that’s my word of the evening), but this one seemed just about right.

I added some stuff, as the author suggests.  I’m also not the owner of a stand mixer (maybe one day…), and too lazy to clean any more beaters/dishes than necessary, so I mixed by hand with a wooden spoon/spatula thing.  It’s not the best mixed bread in the world, but we’ll be fine.

Pumpkin Bread

(mostly by Jamie on My Baking Addiction, edited by me)

Pumpkin Bread

YIELD: 2 loaves

PREP TIME: 20 minutes

COOK TIME: 60 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree [I used a 16 oz. carton.  Living dangerously]
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil [I meant to sub about half of this for applesauce but realized mid-recipe that I was out.  But I’d try in the future, because damn that’s a lot of oil]
2/3 cup water [is it weird that I almost always sub milk or almond milk for water in baking?]
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [would have used half white whole wheat, but again, we’re out.  I clearly need to go shopping]
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice[I refuse to own such.  Eyeballed about 1 tsp each of cinnamon, cloves and allspice, 1/2 tsp nutmeg]

[I also threw in a tbsp or so each of orange and lemon zest, a couple handfuls of dried cranberries, raisins, slivered almonds, and whole walnuts (didn’t have pieces, and was too lazy to chop)]

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8.5 x 4 x 2.5 inch loaf pans.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer [or if you’re me, do a half decent job of mixing by hand], combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, vanilla and sugar until well blended.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. [or just throw it all in and mix.  I’m the world’s laziest baker]
4. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour batter into the prepared pans.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

NOTES:

– This bread is a fantastic base for all sorts of additions. Get creative by adding in chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries or whatever else sounds good to you.

My Baking Addiction adapted from Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread via allrecipes.com

So apparently it’s an adaptation of an adaptation.  I mean, how many ways are there, really, to make pumpkin bread?

I also don’t own more than one bread pan.  And I felt pretty damn fancy and domestic when I bought it.  Because before I basically used a 9×9 with some balled up foil in it to try to approximate the dimensions of a loaf pan.  The results were usually a mess.

Enter: one loaf pan and one weird red silicone bundt pan that came in a set I got pre-college when silicone was all the rage, but mainly because I just wanted the red silicone cupcake pan out of the set.

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Added bonus: they (mostly) fit in the toaster oven.  Hooray!

Added double bonus: my apartment smells AMAZING right around now.  Like autumn and all that good stuff.

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Here’s how they came out.  Yes, I spilled some batter on the side of the bundt pan and it burnt.

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And now, free of pans and cooling.

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The bundt bread came out amazingly.  I was kind of concerned about the baking time, but I baked them together for about 60 mins and they came out perfectly.  The bundt bread is perfectly crisp on the outside and soft and glorious inside.

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Yep.

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And with an obligatory gob of butter.  Because all bread is better with a gob of butter.

Did I make you hungry?  Are you going to go bake this now?  You should.  It’s super easy and delicious and your house will smell fantastic.  Plus if you were feeling super generous, you could bake a loaf for someone else and keep one for yourself.  And it takes the same amount of time, just one more pan to wash up.

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