Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pretty Crazy Delicious Pumpkin Bread

Hello Again! I am sorry about the long break but I spent almost two weeks back in Oklahoma and now am home again. Flying into Connecticut I was greeted by amazing fall colors and crisp fall temperatures that promise a coming winter (hopefully not too soon!). Therefore, is it really surprising that once I got home, I was back in the kitchen within a few hours? No, not surprising.

When I think of fall baking my first thought is pumpkin. It is so versatile-use it in a savory soup, a sweet pie, or a fragrant and moist bread. In honor of my husband's birthday I chose to make a pumpkin bread. It is one of his favorites because I always add extra cinnamon, nutmeg and do a pecan streusel topping. It is such dense, moist bread that it is more like cake in a lot of ways. My favorite way to enjoy it is a nice slice with a smear of cream cheese with a cup of coffee--add in a bunch of fall color and a deck overlooking the woods and you pretty much have my favorite place-home.

Pretty Crazy Delicious Pumpkin Bread: So first off this recipe makes two loaves if made in a 9" pan so I halved it because I have no idea what I would do with two loaves other than covet them like a squirrel with peanuts so hence: halved recipe.

The best thing about these types of breads is that they come together really fast. You find out you are having company in an hour? you can whip up this bread in 15 minutes tops and then bake and not only does your house smell amazing but you can impress your guests with fresh baked deliciousness.

So first off you beat your eggs, sugar, and oil together till nice and light and frothy. Then mix up your flour, spices (I kind of go crazy with the cinnamon and nutmeg since I love them but be as adventurous as your palate allows), baking soda and salt and set aside (try to avoid stepping away and thus letting your cat stick their paw in the flour because this makes a huge mess and happened about 10 seconds after this picture...I suppose this is only applicable if you have slightly evil kitties)
Libby's Pumpkin...oh how I love you since I never actually have time to roast my own pumpkin
Alternately add your flour and water into your egg mixture until just mixed. Stir in your pumpkin and your good to go. I always taste it at this point to see if I need more cinnamon, salt etc but also cause batter is delicious and I don't care if it has raw eggs in it...the amount of cookie dough I have consumed in my life is a testament to the harmless nature of raw eggs (at least when combined with sugar, flour and other cookie components...perhaps alchemy is involved?)
Making my streusel topping in my awesome immersion blender (yes, the same one from the butternut squash lasagna!)
Pour into your greased 9" pan and if you not feeling like a streusal topping go ahead and pop it in the oven but if you are feeling like a crunchy, sweet and yummy topping mix some brown sugar, cinnamon, a bit of flour and cut in your butter. I am now using my immersion blender because I think it is super awesome and I kind of hate using a pastry blender but to each her own--just get your butter in there till it looks like crumbs. Then put in your chopped pecans and sprinkle on your bread.
Ta Da!
Now bake the bread in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center. If you made the topping, I like to cover it with aluminum foil for the last 10-15 minutes or so just because it can get a bit brown and you don't want burned nuts (haha dirty sounding)
The finished product! Don't be jealous of my cat pot holders...I know they are super cool.
As I said earlier, I love this bread with a smear of whipped cream cheese on it and with a cup of coffee but it is delicious plain, heated, or with some cinnamon butter...mmm...the possibilities are endless.
I didn't realize when I took this that Logan had already taken a bite when I wasn't looking. He swears it is delicious.

Pretty Crazy Delicious Pumpkin Bread
*This recipe makes 2 9" loaves,  or 3 8" loaves--it is really easy to half so feel free*

3 Cups Granulated Sugar (does fine with half splenda)
1 Cup Oil
4 Eggs
3 1/3 Cups of Flour (does fine with a 2:1 ratio of whole wheat flour)
2 tps. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tps. Salt
1 1/2 tps of cinnamon (I tend to use between 2-3 tps because cinnamon is delicious)
1 tps of nutmeg (I tend to use more just because nutmeg is amazing)
2/3 Cup of Water
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin

Streusel Topping: I don't really have a recipe for this so these are estimates so feel free to mess with it to fit your tastes :)
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
3 Tbs of Flour
Some Cinnamon
2 or 3 Tbs. of butter (just add enough to make it look like crumbs)
1/3 Cup chopped Pecans (or whatever nut you prefer)

Happy Pumpkin Baking!

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