02/12/2015

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Muffins and loaves are my favourite things to bake because they're so easy, infinitely customizable and they're often much tastier than you'd expect, based on how easy they are to throw together. I've shared a few of my tried and true muffin recipes with you already (like these Best Ever Banana Muffins or these Lemon Pistachio Muffins), but this pumpkin spice bread recipe is absolutely fantastic. It's been a staple in my kitchen for several years now because it's a favourite of my husband's, and everyone I've ever made it for has requested the recipe. It can be made as loaves or muffins but I like making it as loaves because it's easier to freeze this way and let's be honest...nobody likes washing muffin tins! It's moist, it's full of delicious pumpkin and warm spices, and it's the perfect holiday snack. Once you try this recipe, you'll find yourself making it again and again!


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You'll need:

2 cups cooked pumpkin, pureed (If you're feeling particularly adventurous feel free to cook and puree the pumpkin yourself. Otherwise, use the canned variety. Be sure to choose canned pumpkin and NOT canned pumpkin pie filling...there's a difference.)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup oil or melted butter
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
a pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
Butter for greasing the loaf pans
1-2 tbsp turbinado sugar (optional)


To make:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Start by combining the pumpkin puree with the sugar using a wire whisk. Whisk in the oil, then add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition.

Now, I'm about to share one of the most genius kitchen tips ever...seriously. And I didn't come up with it myself; it's a tip from Canadian Chef Michael Smith, one of my cooking heroes. If you haven't checked out his recipes, you really should. Here's the tip: Buy a few pieces of fresh ginger root next time you go grocery shopping. Give it a good wash, let it air dry for a few minutes, and then keep it in a ziploc bag or airtight container in your freezer. This makes it last for months and months (instead of a few weeks in your refrigerator, after which time you end up throwing most of it away...am I right?), and makes it SO much easier to grate into all kinds of recipes (baked goods, soups, tea, stir fry, other Asian dishes, etc.). And the best part is, you don't even have to peel it! Fresh ginger is so aromatic and lends a deeper flavour to a dish. Powdered ginger just doesn't compare!

Using a microplane zester, grate your fresh (frozen) ginger root over the pumpkin mixture until you've added roughly 2 tbsp. You can't tell from the photo, but mine was frozen and it grated beautifully.


Whisk in the grated ginger until combined.

Next, place a metal sieve or flour sifter (if you have one...I don't) over a separate bowl, and into it add your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.

Next, using a microplane zester, grate in some whole nutmeg until you've added about 1 tsp. Whole nutmeg isn't available at every grocery store but it's always available at bulk food stores like Bulk Barn. If you don't have any whole nutmeg on hand, the powdered stuff is fine too although the flavour isn't quite as strong because it loses a lot of its flavour as it's exposed to the air.


Don't worry if you grate more than 1 tsp. Can you ever have too much nutmeg in a recipe like this??

Next, sift the dry ingredients into the bowl by tapping the sieve against the palm of your hand.



The dry ingredients will mix together, and you'll likely be left with a few little 'pebbles' of flour at the end. You can break these up with your fingers and push them through the sieve.


Dump the dry ingredients into the bowl containing the pumpkin mixture. At this point, put your whisk aside and switch to a rubber spatula as you combine the wet and dry ingredients.


The important thing here is not to over-mix. Mixing vigorously or for too long can add too much air into the batter and tunnelling will occur, making the end result rubbery and dense rather than tender and airy. It's even acceptable to see a few tiny streaks of flour in your batter; this is better than over-mixing.


Grease two loaf pans with butter, margarine or cooking spray. I don't recommend greasing with oil (vegetable oil or olive oil) as it doesn't always work that well in making sure the loaf doesn't stick to the pan.

Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans and sprinkle the top of each loaf with some turbinado sugar. This is an optional step, but it really makes for nice presentation and adds a tasty crunch to the top.


Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes. After 55 minutes, insert a toothpick into the top of one of the loaves. If it comes out clean, they're done. If not, return the loaves to the oven for another 5-7 minutes and test again.

Once the loaves are done, remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan. After they've cooled slightly, turn them out to cool on a wire rack until they've cooled completely.

If you can somehow find the patience, wait to cut them until they've cooled completely. The cooling process (both in and out of the pan) is a very important step because the loaves actually continue to bake even after you've removed them from the oven.

Once you cut into them you'll see that this recipe make a perfectly textured, moist loaf with a crisp and slightly crunchy, sweet top.



 

Don't you feel like curling up on the couch with a book, a cup of tea and a slice of this pumpkin loaf?? 

 

This recipe makes two loaves, so if you cut 12 slices per loaf each slice is only 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and that this pumpkin loaf lasts longer in your house than it does in ours!!

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1 comment:

  1. It would be nice to have the option to print when you see a recipe you would like to try

    ReplyDelete

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