September 28, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

The number one sign for me that fall is here is that I traded in my flip flops for socks and shoes this morning. Maybe I'm becoming more sensible as I get older and choosing comfort over fashion or maybe I'm slowly morphing into my perpetually frozen dad, but there are only so many days when I can walk to school with white toes that have lost all sensation before I realize I should stop being so lazy and put on some stupid shoes. Breaking out the socks and shoes is a pretty big step for me. I don't really have anything against shoes and I love boots, but there is nothing I hate more than socks. Well, maybe bad grammar, people who smoke cigarettes on the running path, and Penn State fans, but socks are next in line. Actually I don't even hate Penn State fans. I just feel bad for them.

Anyway, fall has finally arrived. It's in the 50s, it's insanely windy, and I have to wear socks. To make myself feel better about the whole socks thing, I baked some pumpkin bread this afternoon. I might at well enjoy one of the best things about fall while dealing with one of the worst, right?

Pumpkin Bread

1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup diced apples, raisins, chopped pecans or chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but strongly recommended)

Recipe makes 1 loaf.

If you're using fresh pumpkin, preheat the oven to 375. If you're using canned pumpkin or you've already cooked the pumpkin, preheat the oven to 350.

To cook the pumpkin slice it it half lengthwise and scrape out the stringy stuff and the seeds. Save the seeds for these, and discard the stringy stuff. Lay the pumpkin halves skin side down on a rimmed baking sheet, pour about 1/4" water into the pan, and loosely cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Reduce the oven temp to 350.

Let the pumpkin cool and then scoop the flesh into a food processor.

Process until it's pureed and no longer stringy.

Over a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs and water. Next time I'll remember to not use a yellow bowl when taking photos of orange and yellow food. And no, you're not hallucinating. There are four eggs. I had a lot of pumpkin, so I doubled the recipe.

Whisk to combine.

Pour the egg/pumpkin mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients.

Stir until mostly combined.

I decided to add some chopped apples since I have several pounds of them taking up a ton of space in my fridge.

And I really don't see the point in baking anything if chocolate chips aren't involved.

Mix until the apples and chocolate chips are evenly distributed.

Butter and flour the loaf pan(s).

Then pour in the batter.

Top them off with a few more chocolate chips for good measure.

Bake for about an hour or until a tester comes out clean. One of my loaves took 60 minutes and the other one took closer to 70.

Leave the bread in the pan to cool for at least 10 minutes (and preferably longer) before trying to remove it. Trace around the edge of the pan with a knife and turn in over onto a plate or cooling rack.

This is great on it's own, but it would make a lovely dessert with a little dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

If you give a mouse a corner of a of loaf of pumpkin bread...

He's going to ask you for a whole slice.

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Blogger kenikeia said...

Lucky for that little mouse that the corner was broken off because that slice didn't have any calories! Remember the #1 rule: uneven edges need to be straightened and they have no calories - just like broken cookies!

September 29, 2009  

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