How to Make Pumpkin Bread

Three Parts:Making Fresh Pumpkin PureeMaking Fresh Pumpkin BreadAdding Other Ingredients and Flavors

Just the aroma will entice you into making this bread one of your favorites. It is great not only for the holidays but for any day of your life. This is a no-nut bread, moist until the very last bite, and wonderful on a fall day with a cup of tea or coffee.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, canned or fresh.
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Part 1
Making Fresh Pumpkin Puree

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    Preheat the oven to 375 °F (191 °C). Pumpkin puree is simply cooked pumpkin sent through a food processor or blender. Roasting the pumpkin brings out it's sweet, nutty flavor and makes it tender enough to puree.
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    Using your sharpest knife, cut the pumpkin lengthwise, through the stem. You'll be cutting parallel to the grooves running up and down the pumpkin. Work slowly to prevent accidents, start at the stem, working down, and then end back through the stem to cut the gourd cleanly in half.
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    Scoop out all of the seeds and stringy bits inside the pumpkin. You want a clean, smooth surface in the pumpkin. The thin stringy bits will catch fire if left, charring the pumpkin. The seed can be either discarded or saved. Try toasting them for 15 minutes or so and adding to the pumpkin bread.[1]
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    Roast on a foil-lined baking sheet, face down, for 45 minutes. For larger pumpkins, you may want to wait about an hour. When done, they will be nice and tender, and can be easily pierced with a fork. Let them cool off before handling.
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    When cooler, but still warm, scrape all of the flesh from the skin. Get as much off the skin as possible, using a large spoon to scrape the pumpkin into a bowl. Throw the skin away.
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    Pulse the pumpkin in a food processor or blender until it is a smooth, even consistency. Make sure you don't have any chunks as well, working the pumpkin until it is perfectly smooth. You can now store the pumpkin for up to two weeks and use in any recipe that calls for canned or pureed pumpkin.

Part 2
Making Fresh Pumpkin Bread

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    Preheat oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and grease a bread pan. While the oven heats up, grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. If you're doubling the recipe, make sure you use two pans. Grease both with non-stick cooking spray or butter. This batter tends to rise substantially, so you'll only be able to fill the pan roughly halfway.[2]
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    Mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Whisk up all the dry ingredients so that there are no chunks or clumps, then set aside.
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    In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugars with an electric mixer. You want to work the butter and sugar until well combined and fluffy-looking. It can help to let the butter warm up to room temperature 10-15 minutes before you start mixing. Keep the beaters on medium-low and whip until all the sugar is all combined with the butter.[3]
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    Keeping your mixer running, add the eggs one at a time and mix. Mix the eggs in well, but don't overdo it. Once the eggs are indistinguishable from the rest of the mixture, move on to the other egg or the rest of the recipe.[4]
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    Whip in the pumpkin puree. Keep the mixer on low or medium-low speed and add the pumpkin slowly. It is okay if it is still a little grainy or streaky looking; it will keep mixing with the other ingredients.
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    Slowly work in the flour, mixing the entire time. Add the flour in three parts, mixing each third in almost completely before adding the rest. This prevents messes and helps evenly distribute the flour mixture throughout the batter. You want to go slowly here.
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    Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and cook for an hour. The top of the bread should be a touch darker than golden brown, and a toothpick or knife stuck in the center of the loaf should come out cleanly. This means that, when stabbed, the only things that come out of the loaf with the knife are a few crumbs.
    • Don't be surprised if a thicker, denser bread (more batter, a smaller pan) require closer to 75 minutes.[5]

Part 3
Adding Other Ingredients and Flavors

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    Consider adding 1 cup of nuts or toasted pumpkin seeds for a little extra crunch. Pumpkin bread goes well with toasted walnuts or pecans, but you can keep it in the gourd family by simply toasting up some pumpkin seeds as well. No matter what nut or seed you prefer, adding 1 cup of them can take your bread to the next level.[6]
    • Want some crunch without the nuts? Try out 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
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    Add dried fruit for an autumnal pumpkin bread. Spiced breads all go well with a punch of sweet, dried fruit. The dried fruit also goes well with some nuts. Add 1 cup of dried fruit for each loaf. If you're adding nuts, add only a half cup of each. Try out:
    • Raisins
    • Golden raisins
    • Dried cranberries
    • Dried apricots
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    Frost the bread with a cream cheese frosting or orange glaze. You can use any frosting you want, but these two, in particular, go nicely with the nutty, spiced flavor of good pumpkin bread. Making them is also relatively easy:
    • Cream Cheese Frosting: Use a hand mixer to beat a 4 oz room-temperature cream cheese, 4 tablespoons butter, 2 cups powdered sugar (added slowly), and a teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.[7]
    • Orange Glaze: Whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.[8]
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    Use flax meal in place of eggs to make a vegan pumpkin bread. Instead of egg, mix 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespoons of water until it is sticky and mixed. Then simply use this flax mixture in place of the eggs, adding to the sugar and butter mixture. Note that the bread may take up to 15 minutes longer to cook.[9]
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    Finished.

Tips

  • For moist pumpkin bread, let the loaf cool for about 5 minutes and place it in a sturdy resealable storage baggie.The condensation from the steam will soak back into the bread making it soft and moist.
  • This bread is great cold or warm with butter or honey.
  • You can also use 3 ripe bananas instead of pumpkin. It will have the same basic taste.
  • To keep yours a dry bread you can simply wait until it is completely cool before wrapping it.

Warnings

  • Avoid sticking the bread in the plastic bag if it's still hot. Give it at least 5 minutes to cool.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 medium mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer, preferably
  • Large (gallon) resealable storage baggie
  • Serving plate

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