Pumpkin bread is a delicious, delicious thing.
I don’t make it that often and I’m not really sure why, but we received a lovely large-ish pie pumpkin as part of our CSA around Halloween and I was worried it would spoil if I didn’t soon put it to use. My mom and I had been talking pumpkin bread recipes when we had been together and an old family recipe came up. She had put it in my book of family recipes so I pulled it out and decided to make it.
First, I roasted the pumpkin. After washing the outside well, I cut it in half and removed the stem and seeds. I placed it cut side down on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper to keep my pans from being so hard to clean. I roasted the pumpkin in a 350-375 degree oven for about an hour. After coming out of the oven, I let them cool on the pans for about 30 minutes and then scraped the still warm flesh out and placed it in a container. I refrigerated it until I was ready to make the bread. If I didn’t have the pumpkin or I wanted to save time, I could have just used canned pumpkin, but this extra step wasn’t really much work. It just added a day to the process — cooking the pumpkin the day before baking the bread.
Our family recipe is an odd recipe once you get into the details on the back of the card because it talks about different size pans and different cooking times. I think my bread pans must be larger than a typical bread pan for when the recipe originated because even though it talks about being a recipe for 4 loaves, I made it at 2/3 batch the size and got 2 very short but delicous loaves. If I was going to make it again, I’d make the full batch and just divide it between 2 loaf pans and then keep an eye on the cooking time. I’d still check it at 50 minutes and then go for 5 more minutes increments until it was done.
One of the great things about this recipe is the high sugar content (3 cups!). The thing that it does is make the top and the “crusts” very sugary and caramelized. For people who might not like edges, it makes them pretty tasty even after a few days.
For Thanksgiving I decided I’d make this recipe and take a loaf to eat with the pie at dinner. It was, for me, even better than pie. Half of the second loaf became a Thanksgiving morning gift for friends and then I nibbled on the other half over the next few days.
I still had quite a bit of cooked pumpkin left from our pie pumpkin and I saw a lovely looking recipe for brown butter and bourbon pumkin bread recipe. I decided to give it a try since I knew I’d be seeing friends who like bourbon who could help me eat at least one loaf. It made two hearty loaves of bread. The brown butter and bourbon flavor is pretty subtle. If I were to make it again, I might increase the bourbon a bit. Still, a very tasty and moist bread that was still very tasty and fresh as I finished off the last of a loaf as late as 4 days after I made it!
Both are really excellent recipes. Neither is so heavily spiced or flavored as to mask the pure pumpkin flavor. I was also happy to get to use one of our farm vegetables rather than buying a can of pumpkin. The color was light, like my pumpkin’s flesh. All in all, some delicious results!