Pumpkin Bread, 2 Ways

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I’ve been on kind of a bread kick lately. That’s less ambitious than it sounds, though – apart from the challah a few weeks ago, I’ve been making a lot of quick breads. They really are so quick to throw together, and they are a wonderful, homey treat to have around. Last week was banana bread and sunflower seed bread, and today I am making a maple pumpkin bread.

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My family has a great pumpkin bread recipe, which I made a few weeks ago with chocolate chips. Check out my cousin’s blog for that recipe! Today I wanted to try baking something with maple syrup. I have some amazing maple syrup that my mom got from a co-worker who produces his own. It has such a deep, complex sweetness, and I was interested to see how I could use it in baking.

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dark, beautiful maple syrup

This recipe is perfect for fall. Especially a day like today, with still, cool air, lots of sunshine…and a broken radiator. No better way to warm up your kitchen than with this aromatic, comforting bread in the oven.

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I added cranberries to the batter (thanks for the idea, Megan!) and sprinkled walnuts on top. You can add walnuts into the batter too if you like that sort of thing… (I have a complicated relationship with nuts in my dessert). The results were perfect. A cakey, incredibly moist and flavorful bread with a crunchy crust. The cranberries add a nice sweet/tart burst, and the walnuts bring out the earthiness of the flavors. This one’s a winner. Make some pumpkin bread, and tell me your favorite recipe!

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dark, beautiful maple syrup

Maple Pumpkin Bread

recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times

makes 1 loaf

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour (or use 2 cups all-purpose flour)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

a pinch of salt

1 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup nuts or dried fruit (I used dried cranberries, and sprinkled walnuts on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Whisk together flours, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Add nuts/dried fruit.

In a separate bowl, whisk together oil and maple syrup. Add eggs, then pumpkin and vanilla and incorporate well.

Fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture with a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on rack for 5 minutes before unmolding. Then remove from pan, and let cool on wire rack. Or transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.

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