Sunday, January 22, 2017

Big Pumpkin Loaf

This recipe from Smitten Kitchen makes a really, really big loaf. This is a good thing, because why settle for filling only part of a loaf pan? Mine is 9.5” x 5.5” measured at the top; Deb Perelman says hers is 8”x4” at the bottom and 9”x5” at the top. If your pan is any smaller, though, consider scooping out some of the batter to make a few cupcakes in addition to the pumpkin bread – otherwise, go for it! I haven’t tested it, but apparently this could be made into 18 muffins instead of a loaf (the muffins should bake 25 to 30 minutes). One of the nice things about this pumpkin bread is that it uses up the whole can of pumpkin purée, so you’re not stuck with part of it to use up somehow or freeze. Of course, you can adjust the spices to your liking, and you could use sweet potato purée or squash purée to make this, but I’d suggest making the purée yourself by roasting the sweet potato or squash to make sure the consistency isn’t too liquid.

In addition to being delicious, the consistency of this loaf was also very pleasing, as the top was crisp while the crumb was nice and moist. We really enjoyed this!

For the bread

2 ¼ cup (295 g.) all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat, as always)
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. fine sea salt or table salt
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. (heaping) nutmeg
¼ tsp. (heaping) ground ginger
2 pinches ground cloves
1 15-oz. can (1 ¾ cups) pumpkin purée
½ cup vegetable oil (or melted margarine)
3 large eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

For the topping
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 °F. Butter a 6-cup loaf pan or coat it with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs and sugar until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until just mixed. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth the top.

In a small dish, stir sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over the top of the batter.

Bake bread for 65 to 75 minutes, until a tester poked into all parts of cake (both the top and center will want to hide pockets of uncooked batter) come out batter-free, turning the cake once during the baking time for even coloring.

You can cool it in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove it, or cool it completely in there. The latter provides the advantage of letting more of the loose cinnamon sugar on top adhere before being knocked off. (I took mine out of the pan once it was completely cool, and didn’t lose much of the sugar topping.)

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