Sunday, October 16, 2011

Who is my little pumpkin' bread?

Pumkin, chocolate, and raisins. Oh yum! 

It's time for pumpkin bread. As nights get colder we require our treats to warm our bodies and our spirirts. The oranges, reds, and yellows of fall engulf our vision every time we step outside. Our closets are changing from breezy dresses and tank tops, to bulky sweaters and heavy boots. We can smell winter coming, yet still have "sweater weather" to look forward to.

I love fall. I love the smells, the colors, the holidays, even the term. Fall. Things falling all around us, summer falling behind to make room for winter. Life always seems to change for me in the fall. Perhaps the cold air triggers a nerve in me that lays dormant and sleepy during the relentless heat of summer. Fall is often the time for reflection, summer makes us lazy, winter freezes our bones, fall is the time to ponder.
Of course I miss the abundance of local produce that's available in the summer, but fall still has a lot to offer. Funny shaped winter squash, earth toned root vegetables, and green beans as far as the eye can see. 

Perfect time for bread. Pumpkin, squash, banana, any kind of bread you like. Pumpkin bread is incredibly easy, especially if you buy pre-made pumpkin puree. Soon I'll get a "pie pumpkin" and make my own pumpkin puree, but for now the organic store bought kind works great. Be sure you buy just pumpkin and not "pumpkin pie" filling. This already has spices and it's own flavoring. 

The original recipe, which came from Orangette, called for hazelnuts, but those can be hard to find and expensive when you do. I used some dark chocolate because I wanted this to be more of a dessert bread. You could also use walnuts or pecans and omit the chocolate, though chocolate and pumpkin are so good they are bad. 

If you have never made your own pumpkin bread, then now is your time. It's so easy, and besides having to wait while it cooks, it takes very little in the kitchen time. Do make sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature, because that effects how all the ingredients mix together.

For an extra fancy twist, serve this toasted and sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top.

Pumpkin Bread with Golden Raisins and Dark Chocolate
Based on Orangette recipe

The Goods: Makes one loaf
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree, at room temperature
1/2 cup, dark chocolate discs or chips
1/3 cup golden raisins

The Deal: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by 5- loaf pan. 

Get your bread station ready
2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and baking powder until throughly blended. In another bowl, mix water and vanilla extract. In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, and beat on medium speed until lightened in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin puree, and beat on low speed until just blended. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the water-vanilla mixture in two parts, beating on low until just smooth and combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Fold in raisins and chocolate. Pour into bread pan and spread evenly across the top.
Cream butter and sugar
Halloween spatula helps make you feel spooky :)
Adding your special treats
Only an hour away from delicious
3. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes before unmolding and cooling completely.

Serve warm, toasted with butter or at room temperature. This will keep in a ziplock for a few days.


  1. It's becoming one of mine. It was SOOO good, it was hard not to eat the whole loaf myself :)-

  2. I will be making this as soon as humanly possible. Like maybe tomorrow.

  3. Hahaha, thats how I felt when I saw the recipe. I mean it's like crazy good. Let me know how it goes :)