Advance prep for T’day continues with a large loaf of Spiced Pumpkin Bread in the freezer. This is a sweet bread that goes as nicely with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as it does alongside a bowl of your appetizer course soup.
We ate three pieces last night, still warm, and with vanilla ice cream, and then triple-wrapped the rest for safe-keeping in the freezer until next Thursday. Maybe Wednesday night, giving it plenty of time to defrost.
The original recipe first appeared in Bon Appetit in 1995, and as usual I used it as inspriation to tweak and make it my own. This can make two loaves if you’re using a typical 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; I have an oversized Dansk loaf pan to make one very large loaf instead. Of course you can halve the recipe for just one normal-sized loaf, but you won’t want to…it’s that good.
RONI’S SPICED PUMPKIN BREAD
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar + 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
3/4 cup vegetable oil + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 large eggs
1 15-ounce can (used to be 16 ounces) solid pack pumpkin (not sweetened)
2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 cup oatmeal flour (process a cup of uncooked oatmeal in a food processor or blender until it’s got a flour-like texture)
1 tsp ground cloves; 1 tsp nutmeg; 1 tsp cinnamon; 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 – on convect if you have a convection oven. Butter and flour your loaf pan(s), shaking out the excess.
In a very large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, maple syrup, vegetable oil and applesauce with a wire whisk. Then beat in the eggs and the pumpkin.
In another large bowl combine everything else. Then stir in the pumpkin mixture in 2 additions until well combined and pour into loaf pan(s).
Bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean – about 1 hour + 10 minutes. Longer if necessary…you don’t want raw batter in the center, and if the top is in danger of burning, loosely place a piece of foil across the top.
Cool on rack for about 10 minutes and then turn out the loaf (loaves) to cool completely on the rack.
Enjoy a piece while still warm, then let the rest cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap or foil to be enjoyed by everyone else.
One more item checked off the pre-prep list; one less thing to think about for another week.