Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin Quick Bread

I was lucky enough to get the day off from work today, so I've spent a good portion of my afternoon baking in preparation for tomorrow's meals. Yes, that's meals, plural. You see both my family and my husband's family live within 20 minutes drive of each other, so we end up doing Thanksgiving dinner with both families, one at lunch time, and one at dinner time. It makes for very full bellies! Since we have an hour drive to get there, I usually make the breads for both meals.

First up is pumpkin bread. I got the recipe from a co-worker several years ago and it has become my go-to bread recipe for every holiday since. The only tweak I made to the original recipe was to add vanilla (everything's better with a little vanilla in it, right?) and a cinnamon sugar topping.

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup oil (I've used vegetable or olive and both work fine so take your pick)
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup water
2 cups pumpkin (note that I usually just use a 15oz. can since this is all I can find locally)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream the sugar, oil, and eggs. Add cinnamon, salt, and baking soda and mix well. Add in your flour, 1 cup at a time, and stir til mostly mixed in. Your dough is going to be pretty thick at this point so don't worry if all the flour doesn't stir in yet. Add water and pumpkin and mix well with an electric mixer. Your batter will be a little thicker than pancake batter at this point.

Prepare two 9x5 loaf pans: 

I absolutely hate having to struggle to get my loaves out of the pan and then having to scrub the resulting sticky pan, so I use the lazy girl method, and line my pans with foil, no baking spray needed. The bread can be lifted straight out of the pan with no fuss and the foil peels right off. Your pan should still look nice and clean since it didn't come in contact with any batter, so no scrubbing will be needed to clean it. Nice, huh? I do this with everything I bake, and after 8+ years, my bake ware still looks the same as it did when I brought it home.

If not using the lazy girl method, then spray your loaf pans lightly with cooking spray.

Add your batter to the prepared pans. Now you can just pop them in the oven right now if you'd like, or you can add a cinnamon sugar topping to give your finished loaves a crackly, crunchy top that looks all fancy like you picked them up at a bakery. What's that? You want to do the topping? Thought so.

Cinnamon Sugar topping

1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix together and use a spoon to generously sprinkle over the tops of your loaves. Mind, you won't use all of this on your bread so save the leftovers to make cinnamon toast with. Personally, I keep some of this mix on hand at all times, stored in an empty ground cinnamon container so I have a convenient shaker to use. I put this same topping on muffins, etc, before baking for the same lovely top.

Pop your loaves in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Enjoy!

This year I am also trying out a recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Quick bread. If it turns out well, I'll post the recipe soon.


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