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December 3, 2014

Just Good Pumpkin Bread

As I post these photos I snapped while my favorite pumpkin bread cooled all Tuesday afternoon, I realize that, despite the dozens of pumpkin recipes on my Pinterest boards, and the fact that we really enjoyed the pumpkin granola and pumpkin scones I made this weekend, I am simply eager to make this big ole’ loaf again for two reasons: one, it was gone in three days, and two, I loved it last year, loved it this year, and suspect the same for the coming years. It’s something to keep around. We all need a go-to loaf bread this time of year, and this is a great one to have up your sleeve. It’s no frills, and it’s just good. With a high dome, sturdy top crust and soft crumb, I hope it finds a place in your bread box too.

MeredithPump2

Now, last year I gave myself a little extra seasonal kitchen work to do by making a few batches of my own pumpkin puree with roasted squashes. While that was definitely delicious, it was a bit time consuming. I’d certainly do it again if I find myself with lots of extra butternuts, but there is just nothing more convenient and consistent with having a fresh can or two on hand, so when ShopRite sent a jumbo can to me, I was essentially on cloud 9 in the pumpkin patch, knowing that dozens of pumpkin-infused recipes were at my fingertips at that moment.

Meredithpump4

I started with this bread. You’ll need a mixer. Creaming butter and sugar is what gives the bread its soft, tight crumb. Next you’ll add more eggs than you would in another recipe, another trick that delivers sweetness and softness. I don’t bother with any nuts here, and swap in a little rye flour for extra depth. If you have spelt or another flour on hand, that should work too. The signature of this bread is the lightness factor though, so I wouldn’t increase the whole grain flour too much than 1/4 cup. That seemed sufficient. And you’ll be happy to know that cutting the sugar down to 1 cup rather than the original recipe’s 1 1/3 cup makes it plenty sweet.  We love it with a tiny schmear of honey-butter or honey-cream cheese.

MeredithpumpTN

Make this bread ahead, let it cool completely before wrapping in plastic, and enjoy slices all week at breakfast, in the afternoon, or dessert, or give a loaf to friends. My only change next go around? Freeze half immediately- it goes fast!

 

PUMPKIN BREAD 

with inspiration from Sweet Amandine and The Columbus Disptach

Ingredients:

1½ cups ShopRite all-purpose flour

¼ cup rye flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill available at ShopRite)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ShopRite cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves or cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ShopRite ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large ShopRite organic eggs

1 cup ShopRite pure canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a bowl, whisk flours, spices, baking powder, soda and salt very well. Set aside.

In a mixer with the paddle, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, a few minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides. Add vanilla and pumpkin, mix until well-combined. Scrape sides and bottom of mixer.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing a little after each one, until just combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake 55-70 minutes.

Start checking at 55, but mine always takes a bit longer. A wood skewer should come out of the center clean, and the top nicely browned with a crack. Cool in the pan on a rack at least 20 minutes, then turn out and cool completely. Ideally several hours, before cutting into. Great on the next day(s) after when wrapped in plastic.