Spiced Pumpkin Bread
adapted very lightly from Bon Appetit, Nov. 1995
(makes two loaves)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
16 oz. pumpkin puree
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted dates
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.
Whisk the sugars and oil in large bowl to blend. Make sure to get at all the clumps of sugar. Whisk in eggs and then pumpkin puree until the batter is uniform and all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
In another bowl, whisk flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt to combine. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions, folding only until the flour disappears. Stir in chopped dates and walnuts.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes (this is an important step because the bread is too soft to cut right out of the oven and will break - ask me how I know). Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely. (You can eat one loaf and freeze the other - I generally slice the bread and then triple wrap in plastic wrap. That way, I can just toast the slices and it's ready to go).