Pumpkin Bread

So I’m afraid a huge conglomeration of stuff made me drop of the face of the Internet for a couple months.  Work, homeschooling, knitting, illnesses, teething babies, unwashed dishes…  Especially the unwashed dishes.

But I’m back now.  And hey, it’s almost Thanksgiving!  Let’s celebrate with some pumpkin bread!

You’ll notice that this bread is very lightly spiced.  Too much spice overwhelms the flavor of the pumpkin.  In fact the commercial flavor most of us think of as pumpkin is really nothing but heavy spices and sugar.  But you can taste the pumpkin in this bread – it’s especially nice when made with good fresh pumpkin, like Fairytale or Cinderella.

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 128g shortening
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (1 can)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup water

Yield:  2 large loaves or 3 smaller loaves

Preheat your oven to 350F, 325F if using dark colored pans.

Butter and flour your loaf pans.  You’ll need either 2 5″x9″ loaf pans, 3 4″x8″ loaf pans, or 1 12″ bundt pan.

Cream the shortening and sugar.  Once they’re combined, add the pumpkin and eggs.  Mix it well.  It will look somewhat curdled, but that’s okay.  It’s not really curdled, you’re just seeing little flecks of shortening in the batter.  Sift the dry ingredients together.  Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, alternating with water and ending with the last of the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter between your loaf pans and bake for 70 minutes.  Every oven is different though, so I’d start testing the bread after 60.  Baking lower and slower is generally better for this bread.  Bake it until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool 20 minutes, and then turn from the pans.  If it doesn’t come out cleanly, give it another five minutes.  If it still doesn’t come out, start whacking it.  You’ll probably lose a few chunks, but if you’ve reached this point, you probably didn’t flour your pans.  Whacking the pans is really your only option at this point.

When the bread is completely cool, store it wrapped in foil in the fridge.  It’ll keep moist and delicious at least a week.

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