Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Bread

This is the time of year when loaf cakes and tea breads seem so perfect.  They’re handy to serve for brunch, afternoon guests or meetings or to give as gifts of appreciation to friends, family and those who serve us well throughout the year.

I’m keeping it very basic here with this Pumpkin Bread.  It’s a simple mix with lots of spice, a snip of molasses to deepen the flavor and some buttermilk to tenderize the texture.  It’s a soft cake with an open crumb, a very good version of this seasonal staple.  Although I left it unembellished, it’s wonderful to add a handful of toasted nuts or dried cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips or a couple of tablespoons of finely diced crystallized ginger to the batter.  Or top with an orange glaze for a more formal presentation.  

Here’s to the spirit and irresistible aromas of the holiday pastry season!

Bench notes:
- This recipe can be easily doubled.  Use one 15 oz can of pumpkin.
- Spices make the world go 'round and this is a good time of the year to inventory your spice collection.  Stock up or refresh your supply.  I recommend buying at your local bulk grocery store.  I love Vietnamese Cinnamon.  I also use a lot of allspice because I love the way it bolsters everything else.  Whole nutmeg is very inexpensive as is a nutmeg grater.
- More delicious loaf cakes for this time of year: a festive Walnut Brandy Cake, a rustic Honey Spice Cake or the beautifully rich Chocolate Date Nut Cake.

Pumpkin Bread
Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) flour                                
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt         
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon                      
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup (4 oz) canola oil
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar        
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar, packed                                                         
2 large eggs @ room temperature
1 cup (8 oz) solid-pack pumpkin                                                             
2 tablespoons (32 grams) molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (3 oz) buttermilk @ room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/12" loaf pan and line with a piece of parchment paper large enough to form an overhang on both sides along the length of the pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.  Set aside.

Whisk the oil, both sugars and eggs until thoroughly combined.  Blend in the pumpkin, molasses and vanilla.  Add a third of the flour mixture alternately with half the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour and mixing just until blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared the pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 - 50 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.   Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen and carefully remove from the pan using the parchment overhang to assist.  Remove the parchment and cool completely.


Cook with Claire said...

I love the Vietnamese Cinnamon, too!
Thank you for another wonderful recipe - - this pumpkin bread is the best!

pastry studio said...

Very cool. Thank you very much, Claire. Enjoy every bite!

Anonymous said...

I liked this pumpkin bread a lot. It was moist, but not dense. I didn't wait for guests - I just ate it and froze some, but now that is gone. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a great recipe. We loved the hint of gingerbread that the molasses gives. We took your suggestion of adding a handful+ of roasted walnuts. Excellent.

My bread took about an extra 12-14 minutes beyond the 5o to bake. It turned out great--very moist, great crumb. I used the only pan I have, a glass Pyrex bread pan. Could it be the glass that makes the difference in baking time? The pan is slightly bigger than the recommended so I was expecting if anything to be a little shorter since the dough wasn't as deep.

Thanks for all the great recipes. Love everything about your blog--the straight-forward simplicity. I have made many of your recipes--all with great success and thought it was about time I said Thank You!

pastry studio said...

Hello and thank you so much for your very kind remarks. I really appreciate them!

Glass actually conducts heat better than metal. That and the fact that your pan is larger means it should have actually baked faster. I'm not sure what happened there but I'm very pleased you were able to enjoy the cake nonetheless.

Thanks again for making my day!