Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Bread

This is officially my new favorite quick bread.  One, because it is so fragrant while baking.  You would swear you woke up to Thanksgiving morning.  You might even start looking for turkey and stuffing.  Plus, the aroma stays throughout the whole day.  Who needs Pumpkin Spice candles when you can make this instead?!  And, two, because the flavors are so deep and rich.  All the spices really come together in a beautifully complex symphony that will leave your taste buds dancing.  Seriously, I am not kidding.  It's that good.

Here's the recipe.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures while making it because I was too busy blogging about Buffalo Chicken Burgers.  I promise to do better next time.

3 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking soda
2 Teaspoons salt
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon ground nutmeg (I recommend keeping a few whole nutmegs on hand & using freshly ground nutmeg in this.  It makes a difference.)
1 Teaspoon ground allspice
2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
1 Heaping Teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 Cup white sugar
2 Cups brown sugar
1 Cup vegetable or canola oil
4 Eggs
2 2/3 Cups canned pumpkin
1 Teaspoon, each, white sugar & cinnamon mixed together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 large loaf pans.

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Beat with a mixer or stand mixer until completely combined & no lumps are visible.  Divide evenly between the 2 pans & sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Baking time can take up to 90 minutes.  I usually set the timer for 70 minutes & start checking every few minutes after that.  You want to take them out as soon as a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  This will ensure a nice, moist bread. 

Let cool in the pans before taking the loaves out. 

Now, I love warm bread, fresh out of the oven, slathered with butter, but this bread is better suited at room temperature, without anything on it.  You can put butter on it, if you absolutely must, but I suggest giving it a try without.  You'll understand why once you taste it.  You don't want anything covering up that wonderful flavor, which keeps getting better over time.  Another bonus, it freezes well, but we don't utilize that option since it never lasts very long in our house!

Here's the picture of it all sliced up, waiting to make the trip pheasant hunting with my husband.  Can you see the gorgeous, deep orange color?  I think if you get close enough, you can even smell it.  I can not be held responsible for sleep walking tonight & having a couple of slices!

If you make this for company, and want to dress it up a little, a very good friend of mine suggested topping it with either cranberry cream cheese, or a cranberry compound butter.  I think both would be divine!