Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

If you took all the old cookbooks I have in my collection and vowed to make a different quick bread recipe from them every day until you ran out of variations, you'd be making nut bread until the day you dropped dead.  Banana bread, date bread, nut bread, muffins of every flavor you can imagine, and possibly some flavors you can't imagine (I saw one version that contained salt pork), there is virtually no end to the way our ancestors threw together flour, baking powder, sugar, etc.  I'll probably get around to trying some of the nut breads some day, but in honor of fall, this time I decided to try my hand at pumpkin bread.  I found two pretty old recipes from my collection and one from my mom's Betty Crocker cookbook circa early 70s that I used as my inspiration.  That said, I didn't really use any of them even close to as-is.  I took my favorite ideas from all of them and pulled some ideas out of my own strange little brain and out came this beauty.  Not that I want to be responsible for encouraging you to eat any raw egg at all, but I'm not gonna lie, I licked the hell out of this bowl and the batter was divine.

 Just as a side note, one of these days I'm going to have to post some of the recipes I just don't feel like I can "save," because some of them are hysterical.  In the course of paging through some of the old books while researching the next recipe I'm hoping to do (also known as doughnuts) I was reading some things out loud to Marc as we were alternately laughing and trying not to vomit.  Let me just say, people in 1909 ate some nasty sounding crap.  Think cold fish layered with sliced hard cooked eggs and thick white sauce (whatever THAT is) and served over lettuce.  Or watercress, depending on your taste.

But put that yucky stuff out of your mind right now.  There's pumpkin bread waiting....

Pumpkin Bread

This recipe makes 2 loaves but you could probably cut in half without much trouble.  I suspect you could substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream, but I haven't tried that yet, so it's just a hunch.  I put 1/3 cup of chopped, toasted pecans in one of the 2 loaves.  Two of my three inspiration recipes contained raisins but that didn't interest me one bit.  But if you want them, about 1/3 cup per loaf ought to do it for that, too.  Personally, I like it best plain with no nuts or anything extra in there.

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
4 eggs
2/3 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup sour cream
1 lb. canned pumpkin
nuts, 2/3 cup if you want nuts in both loaves, 1/3 cup for one loaf (optional)
raisins, 2/3 cup if you want raisins in both loaves, 1/3 cup for one loaf (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Whisk together the flour, salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger in a medium sized bowl.  Set aside.

Whisk sugar, eggs, syrup and oil in a large bowl until well combined.  Add pumpkin and sour cream and stir together.  Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.  Spray two 9" x 5" loaf pans with vegetable oil.  Or you can do like I did and make a parchment paper sling and line the pans that way.  Evenly divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the top with and offset spatula.  Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.  Cool in the pans for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and place on  a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. How big are your loaf pans? They look pretty big. I might try these in muffin tins instead, or at least for the overflow on my medium-sized pans.

  2. Dur, hey look there's the pan size right there. I'm clearly suffering from a lack of pumpkin bread. Must remedy that.

  3. My pans are 1 1/2 # size. They make 1 # size too and those are pretty common, so this might make too much if you had two 1 # pans. I would think this would work great as muffins, you would just have to watch them closely the first time to figure out the baking time.

  4. I made these with whole wheat flour and yogurt, in 8.4"x 4.5" pans, and they are awesome. Also, one can of pumpkin is 15 oz so that's what I used and then cut the flour by a smidge.

  5. Sallie, I liked what you said about licking the bowl. I love batter and cookie dough. I never get all the batter into the pans and have to manually get that pesky last 1/4 cup with a spatula. My little reward for giving the pumpkin bread away. I make at least two double batches at Christmas in smaller loaves for the vets and techs and my Wednesday group.

    Milk products really irritate my sinuses, so I have to stick with the recipe I have without sour cream. I may try the maple syrup in it next time, though. And I don't like nuts in mine, either.

    Your cherry pie looks very good, and the oatmeal cookies, too.