Monday, November 4, 2013

Pumpkin bread & autumn in Iowa

I think I've mentioned before that I'm trying to focus my time on family favorite recipes.  Now that canned pumpkin is on sale at the local grocery store, I'm baking up loaves of pumpkin bread to freeze and share with my family.  I can't believe how many recipe variations there are for simple pumpkin bread!  I finally settled on the version I found from Better Homes and Gardens.  It has my favorite fall spices -- nutmeg and cinnamon (I can't believe some pumpkin bread recipes don't have cinnamon!).  It also uses vegetable oil instead of shortening. 

It's a great recipe. My only complaint is I don't think my old oven is working right.  It takes forever to bake anything lately, including these pumpkin bread loaves.  And by the time it was finally cooked through the middle, the outside was a little dark and dry.  We probably should replace our oven, but we've got so many other projects on our list right now!

Before I share the recipe, I thought it would be fun to show off my neighborhood in the fall.  I live in a small town with a lot of old, large trees, and each tree turns a different color.

 Unfortunately, I also have quite a few leaves to rake up!

The first freezing night finally arrived two weeks ago.  I picked the few last flowers from my garden before they were gone.

For Halloween this year, I made the popcorn ball recipe from Two Chicks from the Sticks.  It was my first attempt at making popcorn balls, and they were so good!  They tasted like caramel popcorn.  You can buy the Two Chicks cookbook here.

Here's the pumpkin bread recipe, if you want to try it at home.  Enjoy!


Pumpkin bread

  • 3-1/3 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 C. sugar
  • 1-1/2 C. brown sugar
  • 1 C. vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 C. water
  • One 15-oz. can pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of two 9x5x3-inch pans, three 8x4x2-inch or four 7-1/2 x 3-1/2 x 2-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, 2 tsp. cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; set aside.

In an extra-large mixing bowl, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs; beat well. Alternately add flour mixture with the water to egg mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Spoon batter into the prepared loaf pans, spreading evenly.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes for 9x5-inch loaves, 45 to 50 minutes for 8x4-inch loaves, 40 to 45 minutes for 7-1/2 x 3-inch loaves, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean.

Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Wrap and store overnight.

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