I like a dense, desert-y sort of bread. Banana bread, coffee cake... things like that, are right up my alley. I have an intense sweet tooth, and those sort of breads satisfy... so this was the perfect way to start, as I worked my way through the puree in my freezer.
Now that I've made my first submission using the puree, I am aware of just HOW MUCH of the stuff I have. This bread... this PUMPKIN bread... only used one measly cup of puree. One. Bright side? Only 52 more cups to go!
I found this recipe via Epicurious.com, but it was originally printed in Bon Appetit (October 2003).
What you'll need:
2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I didn't have any, so I made my own.)
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon salt (I omitted this, as I almost always do... but would actually suggest adding it.)
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 Cup sugar
2 Large eggs
1 Cup pumpkin puree
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 Cup buttermilk
1/2 Cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 Cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350* and butter your 9x5x3 loaf pan. Line the bottom and the two long sides with waxed paper. Leave enough excess so you can use the wax paper as handles, and the bread just lifts right out. Easy peasy.
Whisk flour, spices, baking powder and baking soda in bowl to blend. Using hand mixer, beat butter until fluffy and gradually add sugar until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in pumpkin, then vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in two additions. Now quit beating. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Pour all this in to your pan, stick it in the oven, and wait. The smells will drive you batty!
You'll be cooking this bread for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. When the tester comes out clean, let it cool in the pan for 10 or 15 minutes. Pull the bread out using your nifty waxed paper handles and let cool completely before you try to cut it. (Just made myself laugh! Since when has a loaf of bread sat long enough to cool completely?!)
I give this bread a B or B+ in taste and an A- in texture. It has a nice, tough and chewy outer crust, but it's just a tad dry inside. And though the initial taste is B, the aftertaste is definitely a B+! Both my husband and I loved the aftertaste!