Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pumpkin time

Well, I have quite a few things to blog about. I have some restaurant reviews, and a couple of recipes I had forgotten about, but one sticks out among the rest. I thought this recipe was on my blog. A friend asked about it and I was about to give them the link when I realized it wasn't on here!
This recipe I discovered when reading Gourmet magazine a few years back. It was from the book of the month, and the recipe was for pumpkin bread. I absolutely adore pumpkin bread. It symbolizes everything fall to me. All things pumpkin signal the arrival of cooler weather; pumpkin spice lattes show up at the beginning of September, and my coffee even knows its time to get baking. Pumpkin rolls, filled with cream cheese frosting are a given at fall potlucks and family gatherings. Pumpkin scones make their way to the table on cool autumn mornings and pumpkin spice cakes and breads add to the festivities. Last year I made a pumpkin spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting. Amazing.
Up until I read this recipe in Gourmet magazine, I had never had a pumpkin loaf recipe that really impressed me. I had made breads that were more like cakes, but never a real bread with some substance. I made this recipe, and I knew I needed this cookbook. It was from the Art and Soul of Baking. I know. You are probably like 'Blah, blah, blah...is that the only cookbook she reads?' Its not. I really do read a lot of cookbooks, but I am seriously telling you this one is a winner.
I fell in love with this cookbook, just because of this pumpkin bread. I made it for lots of people, and they still talk about it. As a matter of fact, a friend made a pumpkin bread, then sent me a message asking for that recipe because it is so superior. It is the best breakfast/snack time bread. Seriously.
So.....while you are wasting time reading this, I am going to be baking it. You should do. You won't regret it. As a matter of fact, you will probably wish you had made two, and put one in the freezer to thaw and enjoy later, or take it to a neighbor.

Pumpkin spice loaf (with walnuts, if you want)
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and position the oven rack in the center. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients, except sugar, in a medium bowl. Whisk together eggs, water, and sugar in another bowl. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla, and blend well.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until blended and smooth. Add the walnuts, if desired, and stir until they are evenly distributed. Scrape into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 55-65 minutes, until bread is firm to touch and toothpick inserted comes out clean. In the meantime, make cream cheese frosting, if desired. (The bread is great without it, so don't sweat it if you don't have the ingredients or just don't want to make it.)

Cream cheese frosting (this makes a lot)
12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 stick butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. hello, just saw this. Does the topping go on after it has cooled down?

  2. How many eggs? They're not listed in ingredients but the directions call for them.


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