Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Amazing Spiced Pumpkin Bread


Guys, I've always been straight up with you, right? This thing we have here, you and you and you and me, it's a relationship based on trust, right? So trust me now when I tell you - this is the pumpkin bread dreams are made of.

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I won't beat around the bush - if you're not fond of pumpkin-based sweets, try to fast forward yourself to about Christmas, when it's cold for real and chocolate is the only answer. But if you crave that subtle, golden sweetness that pumpkin brings to desserts, if you love the way it makes quickbreads taste undeniably - but not overwhelmingly - of fall and hearth, of gently falling leaves and crisp blue skies, this is the pumpkin bread for you.

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I felt a bit like a witch mixing up this bread. It really doesn't take very long, but the spirit of Halloween was in me, with the orange batter and all, and I kind of prolonged the pleasure by singing "double double toil and trouble" while stirring. I also pretended that the toasted walnuts and dates were eye of newt and [unmentionable] part of frog... that got me some reeeeally weird looks from A. You would think he'd be used to it by now! Seriously, though, please please make this bread. It's soft, it's moist, it's fragrant and goes amazingly with a cup of tea or coffee. And, as an added bonus, it's dairy free. I mean, it just doesn't get any better than this.

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).


La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I'm printing this recipe. Thanks for bringing back a BA 1995 recipe. Yummy.

solid wood furniture said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe! It is really the season of pumpkins! I have been making pumpkin dishes for days now and I am not fed up with it!

Irene said...

Neither am I! And I've been treating myself to Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks. Yummy :)

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Everything about this bread looks amazing!

♥peachkins♥ said...

this bread really looks amazing..

Manggy said...

I think my favorite part would be the bits of dates and, of course, the cake. Looks like I could finish the whole loaf! :)

El said...

I love the deep, rich colors of the bread - extremely appetizing. The photos are gorgeous too!

Ash said...

I need to make something with pumpkin!!

Simones Kitchen said...

It's been pumpkin all over the place which is funny as up until recently I had never cooked anything with pumpkin before and I love it! This looks like a delicious bread

Erika from The Pastry Chef At Home said...

"when it's cold for real and chocolate is the only answer" Ha ha, that made me giggle because sometimes chocolate is the only answer!

But on to the Pumpkin bread. It looks lovely. I like that is has dates as well. :)

The Caked Crusader said...

What a lovely open, crumbly texture - I only have to read the word "spiced" at the moment to start drooling. It'a almost Pavlovian!!

Barbara said...

Not too many pumpkin breads have dates in them- which I love. Maida Heatter has something similar to this is one of her old cookbooks. Can't wait to try yours!

Anonymous said...

Jest stumbled onto your blog, its absolutely stunning :)

Jane said...

This pumpkin bread looks and sounds delightful, Irene. Your lovely description really puts the "tempt" in tempting! Another keeper from the Tart!

:) Jane

Irene said...

Thank you so much!! :D

veron said...

This pumpkin bread looks so warm and homey. A great pumpkin recipe to bookmark!

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I just found your blog and WOW! I love it. I have been sitting here scanning page after page and I can already tell you there are about 10 recipes I want to make already. Your photography is gorgeous, and your recipes are amazing. I'm so glad I stumbled upon your amazing little corner of blogdom. I'll be back often!

Melbourne Girl said...

I made this at the weekend and it was really good! It was easy to make and, for me, turned out kind of like a nut/date loaf. Delish.

Thank you

Simones Kitchen said...

I keep looking at those walnuts and dades thinking... hmmm, what part of a frog would those be?? Haha... no wonder you are looked at funny!! The bread looks amazing though! Would love to try this!

katherine said...

First, this bread looks incredible. Second, what kind of camera do you use? I just found your blog and LOVE your photos!

Ninette said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, so I could find yours. The bread looks so moist and amazing. I like your little trip into witchhood!

Irina @ PastryPal said...

That is a very decadent looking bread. I love baked goods with dates in them. Is it me or do they make the crumb moister? I'm going to bookmark this. I think I want some.

The Food Librarian said...

Love the addition of dates in this bread! That sounds sooo delicious. After I'm done making Bundts, I'm making this! - mary

Katie said...

Wow that looks incredible. I love the colour of it and how moist it looks. I can almost taste it