Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Everyone's Pumpkin Bread

This is the other thing I was cooking today. I bought all the ingredients for this last week to make and bring to our middle school music fundraising carwash bake sale, but didn't manage to make it until today. I enjoy thinking about this bread almost as much as I do making it, giving it away, and eating it. The recipe is my mom's. She makes it every October and gives a loaf to her friend Liz for her birthday. I hear that Liz starts salivating for her pumpkin bread on Oct. 1. The recipe makes three loaves so I believe my mom keeps one and freezes the other. It freezes well. She used to make it a lot when we were kids and I loved having it in my lunch. I loved how it got even moister and greasier wrapped in plastic in my lunch box. I really savored every bite.

I made pumpkin bread for one of our parent coop nursery school potlucks and it was such a hit I ended up giving away the recipe to a lot of people. One friend of mine serves it for dessert with dulce de leche ice cream--a great innovation. Another now runs her own nursery school and she makes the pumpkin bread every fall and gives it away to her families. She adds chocolate chips (uck to me, but...) and her son demands it as his birthday cake every year. This fall she called me in a panic.
"We remodeled our house...I lost my recipe box...I can't find the pumpkin bread recipe!!!" she said breathlessly. I emailed it to her again. Here's the recipe. I decreased the sugar from my mom's original 4 cups because I prefer it less sweet.

Betsy’s Pumpkin Bread
Makes 3 loaves.

3-1/2 cups sugar
¾ tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. baking soda
2-1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. each ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg
5 cups unbleached flour
6 eggs
1-1/2 cups canola oil
3-1/2 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin

Line 3 loaf pans with waxed paper. Combine all ingredients and mix just until blended. Bake at 300 degrees F for 1-1/2 hours. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool to room temperature. Wrap in plastic to keep fresh.

You can also make smaller gift loaves and muffins, even a round cake. How will you make yours?

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