Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf

I'm getting back into the swing of things here, and I thought I would get back to blogging! I have lots of new recipes to share, and I decided to kick things off with an awesome pumpkin loaf I made the other night. I'm so happy fall is here again...it's time for pumpkin everything! My kids really enjoy pumpkin spice flavors, so that gives me a great excuse to try lots of new things! I really got into making zucchini and yellow squash bread this summer, so my kids have gotten used to eating quick breads in loaf form instead of only in muffin form, which is a nice change of pace! They lovingly call this recipe "pumpkin cake." Who wouldn't want pumpkin cake for breakfast?! 

The great thing about baking a loaf of bread instead of muffins is obviously that you pour it and bake it all at once! A loaf of quick bread does take at least an hour to bake, so I often bake it the night before, so my kids don't have to wait. Let me show you how to make it. It's very easy!

First start by whisking together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices. The original recipe that I got from food.com was for 2 loaves of pumpkin bread. I only have one loaf pan, so I cut the recipe in half. That is why the flour measurement listed in the recipe may look a little strange. I used mostly white whole wheat flour in this recipe, but feel free to use all-purpose if you prefer. This recipe has lots of wonderful spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. I imagine you could substitute an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice if you have that instead. Whisk these together and set that aside.

Then in a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, pumpkin, sugar, water, oil, and vanilla. I used less sugar than the recipe called for, and I thought a combination of white and brown sugar would be nice with the pumpkin. I was out of applesauce when I made this, but I would definitely use 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup applesauce in place of the 1/2 cup oil and then maybe even reduce the sugar down to 3/4 cup. I used whey from making homemade yogurt in place of the water. I tend to have a lot of whey since I make homemade yogurt about every other week or so, and this was an easy way to use up some of it, so if you have some extra whey lying around, this is a great place to use some of it! I also added vanilla, which was not in the original recipe, but I think every sweet recipe is better with vanilla!

Next add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until just combined. Like muffin batter, you don't want to overmix this. 

Pour the batter into a 9x5 inch loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. 

Bake the pumpkin loaf in a preheated 350 degree oven for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. My bread took 70 minutes, and I find that a toothpick will not go all the way through a loaf of bread, so I use a butter knife to test for doneness. 

Let the pumpkin loaf cool for 10 or so minutes in the pan before slicing and serving. 

This bread is absolutely fantastic warm from the oven with some butter smeared on top. Yum! It is also wonderful at room temperature, and stays moist for days! 

If you love pumpkin and fall flavors, I hope you will give this one a try! 

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf
Recipe adapted from Food.com

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water (I used whey)
1/2 cup canola oil or melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, sugars, water, oil, and vanilla.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently stir to combine. Break up large chunks of flour, but do not over mix.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then slice and enjoy plain or spread with butter or cream cheese!

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