When October rolls around, I have finally given into fall and I start craving comfort food. This fall has been no different. My oven has been on. Dinners have started to include warm vegetables and gravies and slow roasted meats. In the mornings, I find myself reaching for something warm and spicy and filling.
After looking high and low for a pumpkin bread recipe that wasn't loaded with seeds or topped with some kind of streusel crumble or maple glaze, I gave up and decided to develop my own. With the confidence given to me by my research (aka pouring over my favorite quick bread recipes), I decided that I was ready to take the leap and give it a go.
I wrote out a recipe. I gathered ingredients. I got out the measuring spoons and mixing bowls. When I went to take the bread pan out of the cupboard, I realized that my bread pan was at the other house. At that point, I did what every desperate baker would do. I went over to the neighbor's house and asked Don if I could borrow a bread pan. He assured me that I certainly could IF he could find one. He looked and looked and then gave up, but told me that if he found one in the next ten minutes he would bring it over.
That's when I trudged back across the street in defeat. I was going to be making the pumpkin bread, but if Don couldn't find a pan I had to decide whether I would try another neighbor or make a quick trip to the store to buy one. Thankfully, about six minutes later, Don rang the doorbell with the look of victory on his face!
Now that my bread pan saga is out of the way, let's get baking! Gather your supplies. If you don't have a bread pan, you know what to do!
We begin by mixing all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. I use a wooden spoon, but you can use whatever you prefer. Make sure that all of the clumps of brown sugar are nice and broken up, then set the mixture aside.
Once you've got your dry ingredients together, you're ready to start working on the wet stuff. Crack your egg in a small bowl and whisk it until it is smooth.
Add in the rest of the wet ingredients. This was the trickiest part of the recipe. Pumpkin is moist on its own, but when you deal with pumpkin you still need to add quite a bit of extra liquid.
Now, we add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. And...
STIR. Remember what I said about baking with pumpkin? If your batter looks too dry, add a bit more milk. Don't be shy about it. You can handle this adjusting thing!
Pour your batter into
When a knife comes out of the bread clean, your loaf is ready to come out of the oven! Place your bread onto a cooling rack. Or, in the case of my current hodge podge kitchen, an upside down muffin tin (which I did NOT borrow from Don). Let your loaf rest for about 10 minutes, then run a knife along the edges before removing the bread from the pan. Once it is completely cool, wrap it in plastic.
I was going to keep this bread stored on the counter, but decided that it might be better off in the fridge. When I want a slice of pumpkiny goodness, I cut a piece off of the loaf, put it under the broiler for about five minutes and then give it a nice bit of butter.
If you happen to be into putting nuts or raisins (or even chocolate chips) into your quick breads, I would tell you to GO FOR IT! This recipe has all kinds of room for adaptations!
I really should have called this bread "You Can't Stop Me Pumpkin Bread", because despite countless obstacles, it came together exactly as I hoped it would! Let this be a lesson to all of us. No recipe? No problem. No bread pan? Borrow one. No cooling rack? Improvise.
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
pinch nutmeg (less than an 1/8 tsp.)
1/4 c. cooking oil (peanut, vegetable, melted coconut, it's up to you)
1 c. pumpkin puree
3 Tbsp. buttermilk + 1/2 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease loaf pan.
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, making sure all the clumps of brown sugar are broken up. Set aside.
Whisk egg in a small bowl. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and stir until smooth.
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring until combined. Adding more milk if necessary (it doesn't need to be buttermilk).
Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack for about 10 minutes before running a knife along the edges and then removing the loaf from the pan.
Once completely cool, store the bread wrapped in plastic. Whether you leave it on the counter or pop it into the fridge is up to you!
Do you have a favorite quick bread recipe?
Do you have any funny baking stories? I'd love to hear about them.