I’ve made and sampled a million different pumpkin breads, most of them tasting about the same. That’s why I pounced on this recipe – it’s different. It doesn’t knock you over the head with spices or turn into a dark brown loaf, but instead bakes up into a delicately flavored moist and dense quick bread. Sure, I had to stop myself from tossing in little bit more cinnamon and adding a touch of nutmeg, but I’m glad I did. The fall flavors came together perfectly. This is going to end up in the bread basket at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner in a few weeks.
Geoff recently bought a kitchen scale that I’ve never had an excuse to use, so I loved that this recipe’s measurements were given in weight. I had fun weighing out the ingredients, and I can see why it’s more accurate of a measure than cups. And, true to its category of “quick bread,” this recipe came together in a flash, with minimal fuss and no trouble.
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 cup (9 ounces) canned pumpkin puree (NOT the pre-seasoned pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup neutral-flavor vegetable oil (such as canola)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (NOT imitation)
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped toasted walnuts (toast in the oven or in a small pan on the stove)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a loaf pan with melted butter. Use a large bowl to whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger and salt. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Blend in the sugar until well incorporated, then add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Blend these wet ingredients together well.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Stir in the walnuts until they are evenly distributed. Use a spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and level the top.
This is a thick loaf, so bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the bread is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a cooling rack. The best technique for serving is to use a serrated knife to saw through the bread, cutting 1/2-inch thick slices. Leftovers will keep for about two days wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up. You can refrigerate it for about 4 days or double-wrap it in foil and freeze it for a month or two. Of course, Geoff and I ate all mine in less than two days, so I can’t really vouch for these times. Guess I’ll have to make another loaf!