Yes, Halloween is my favorite holiday, however, November delivers so many wonderful cooking opportunities and ingredients. One of my favorite ones to carry over is the majestic pumpkin. I am afraid that is it a bit of lost food in our busy modern world. They are a remarkable squash. If you have whole undamaged pumpkins and you keep them cool and protected from freezing, they will last for months. There are numerous uses for them including today’s topic – pumpkin bread.
Let’s start with harvesting the flesh we are going to use for cooking. Personally, I chop the pumpkin into the natural slices, remove the seeds (for roasting), and peel off the outer rind. I like to remove the rind after I have boiled the pieces of pumpkin until you can insert a toothpick fairly easily. I boil them, drain them, then let them cool. Once I can handle the pieces comfortably, a nice sharp parring knife makes the outer rind slice away easily. There are other ways, but that is how I do it. Just to make the cooking a bit easier, I run the pieces of pumpkin thru the food processor on a course grind type setting. I don’t want to make paste, but I need the pumpkin broken down to a manageable level. Now we can get into making bread.
I mix all of my dry ingredients in a large bowl first.
3.5 cups of all purpose flour
3 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
.5 teaspoon ground ginger
.5 teaspoon ground cloves
Once all of this looks fairly mixed, it is time to start adding the wet ingredients.
2 cups of ground pumpkin
1 cup of vegetable oil
2/3 cup of water
If you use a mixer, be careful to not over mix. Not perfect is good. Stop before it looks like pancake batter.
Once everything is mixed, it is time to 3/4 fill the loaf, mini-loaf, or cupcake pans. I prefer non-stick to greased, but go with what you got.
Baking time will vary depending on the size of your finished bread. With that said, I run my oven at 350 degrees (f) for 40 to 60 minutes. You should be able to insert a toothpick and draw it out cleanly when the bread is done. Once it is done, pull from the oven and let cool.
As for serving, the bread is ready to go as is, however, if you like glazed breads, go for it. If you like frosting or the kids want to decorate, go for it. Just remember to have fun and enjoy.