Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Nut Bread!

Hi Friends:

Well, my husband doesn't like pumpkin. Oh, he'll carve one, but that's it. I know, it's just wrong, bordering on anti-American. What would the Pilgrims think! Every year about this time, I start nagging him to give it another try.  I know he is never going to like pumpkin pie, but there are lots of recipes out there calling for pumpkin, and maybe, just maybe, if I could find a recipe where the pumpkin is not overpowering, he would like it. I researched pumpkin breads. I knew this was going to be my best shot because the guy is a bread fiend. After some ingredient analysis and a little recipe tweaking, I came up with a great pumpkin nut bread - moist, nice spice, subtle pumpkin flavor, and yet definitely pumpkin, with options for add-ins of your choice, toasted nuts and/or dried fruit. Best of all, it's a typical quick bread - easy! Give it a try, I know you'll like it because he did!
Pumpkin Nut Bread

Ingredients for two loaves:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
1/4 tsp each, ground allspice and cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (no added spices)
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used 2/3 cup and 1 1/2 tsp vinegar)
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted pecans (or walnuts)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
Gather ingredients. In medium bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
In mixing bowl at medium speed, beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in pumpkin (the batter will appear curdled - no worries, the batter will come back together after the addition of flour). Turn mixer to low and alternately add in flour mixture and buttermilk. Note: I never have enough opportunities to use buttermilk, so I make my own in small batches (see above). I use a ratio of 1/2 tsp of vinegar to 1/4 cup of milk. It can also be made with lemon juice instead of vinegar.

Toast pecans for 5 minutes over medium-low heat tossing occasionally. Don't walk away; nuts burn easily!
Stir in pecans and divide batter evenly between two loaf pans.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Enjoy fresh out of the oven! May be frozen.

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