Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This Pumpkin Bread Recipe is wonderful all year. The recipe makes two loaves of rich, moist pumpkin bread. Enjoy one loaf and freeze the other for unexpected company or as a special treat!

The spicy aroma fills the house as this flavorful pumpkin bread is baking. This pumpkin bread recipe is wonderful just the way it is but you can also add cream cheese frosting for an added touch of sweetness.

Pumpkin is so full of nutritious benefits that it makes the perfect food for the whole family. Pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K, E, and the minerals of magnesium, iron, and potassium. Not only that, but only 4 ounces of canned pumpkin contains almost 3.5 grams of healthy fiber.

Moist Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Ingredients: (for 2 loaves)

3 ½ C. flour
3 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
4 eggs, beaten
2 C. canned pumpkin
2/3 C. water
1 C. canola oil
1 C. chopped pecans (optional)
1 C. raisins (optional)

Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, pumpkin, water, and oil. Mix together until the batter is well blended.
Add the nuts and raisins.

Pour the batter into two greased loaf pans. I use PAM spray and the loaves drop easily out of the baking pans.

Bake at 325 degrees for about one hour. Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread. If the toothpick does not come out clean, bake at five minute intervals until done.

Remove the pumpkin breads from the baking pans while still warm.

Tip: After taking the pumpkin bread out of the oven, tip the loaf pans on their side before removing the pumpkin bread from the pan. This helps the bread retain its height, preventing the bread from dropping.

If you get really inspired, you can make your own pumpkin puree instead of buying canned pumpkin.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Choose a firm, medium pumpkin. I made the mistake of trying to cut a pumpkin while it was raw and could have kicked myself when I found out how much easier it is to cook the pumpkin first! All you have to do is poke the pumpkin with a knife a few times to allow the steam to escape. Place the entire pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Test if the pumpkin is done by inserting a knife into it. If the knife glides easily into the pumpkin, it is done. Set the pumpkin aside and let it cool.

Clean out the inside of the pumpkin, removing the seeds and fibers. Spoon all the pumpkin off the skin and mash until smooth or blend the pulp in a food processor. Now you can use the pumpkin puree for pies, breads, or any other pumpkin recipe.

Resources: Personal Recipe Files

Rich, Moist Banana Bread

This Banana Bread recipe has been in my family for years. It is very moist and heavy, just the way I like it.

The Banana Bread is simple to make and it freezes well. I cut it into slices and freeze them individually. All I have to do is take a slice out of the freezer and have a delicious slice of homemade banana bread...much better than a donut.

I always bake a number of these Banana Breads during the holidays, wrap them in colored plastic wrap and give them as gifts to friends and relatives. They look forward to homemade bread and it is a personalized gift that shows how much you care.

Banana Bread Recipe

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 ripe bananas
½ C. shortening
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
½ C. milk
½ C. chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream together: shortening, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time until mixture is thick and lemony.

Blend together the bananas and milk. Add to the egg mixture.

Add the flour mixture slowly. Mix well.

Stir in the walnuts.

Bake in a greased loaf pan for one hour. Check with a toothpick inserted in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, the banana bread is done. If there is batter on the toothpick, bake at five minute intervals, testing after each, until done.

Tip pan on its side on a cooling rack. This helps the banana bread keep its height. Remove from the pan while still warm.

Resource: Personal Recipe File