I don’t know about you, but when the weather starts to turn just a hint cooler, and the leaves ever so slowly begin to turn from green to orange to crimson, I start to get the familiar “Autumn Itch.” Come on. I know you’ve had it, too– you start to think about denim, riding boots, and scarves. You start to eye your Dutch Ovens and crave warm, comforting soups and stews, served with crackly, crispy loaves of bread. You start to see everything in shades of orange and begin your pre-scouting for the perfect pumpkin to display on your porch.
And, of course . . . if you’re like me, you start to think about pumpkin bread.
Pumpkin bread is one of the best foods of fall. With its moist, fragrant taste and to-die-for smell while baking, this humble fall recipe is a hard one to beat. There are as many different ways to make it as there are cooks who create it. But however you like it . . . make this little gem soon. It just isn’t fall until you have a slice of this bread, warm from the oven, with a steaming cup of coffee.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Perfect Pumpkin Bread
(my own adaptation based on many recipes that I tried)
2 (15 oz.) cans pumpkin puree
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 tsp. cinnamon
4 3/4 cups flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips or nuts, optional
Whisk together pumpkin, oil, applesauce, sugar, eggs, and spices. Stir in dry ingredients just until incorporated. Place into greased regular or mini loaf pans (fill tins between 1/2 and 3/4 full). Bake at 350 until toothpick in the center comes out clean– this takes roughly 30 minutes for mini loaves, or 50 minutes for regular loaves. Each oven is different, so remove loaves when they pass the “toothpick test” and invert them onto cooling racks to finish cooling.
Now, in pictures!
“Mama’s little baby loves pumpkin, pumpkin . . . Mama’s little baby loves pumpkin bread.” Well . . . maybe Mama’s little baby loved “shortenin’ bread,” in reality, but I bet she would have loved pumpkin bread, if she’d ever had a chance to taste it. 😉
First, whisk together your pumpkin puree, applesauce, oil, sugar, eggs, and spices. Think deep thoughts.
When your wet ingredients have been mixed, stir in your dry ingredients just until moistened. Seriously. This is so easy– you can’t mess it up.
This will give you a rich, velvety batter. YUMMMMM. At this point, grease your pans with cooking spray (I love to use mini loaf pans because that size seems to be perfect for gifting), and use a cookie scoop to evenly portion your batter. A WHAAAA????
Seriously. Cookie scoops were one of those tools that made me think, “I’m absolutely not spending money on that. My regular spoons work just fine, and I don’t need another useless gadget cluttering up my drawer.” And then I got one. Suddenly, all my cookies, muffins, meatballs . . . you name it, were exactly the same size. Baking was a lot easier, too, because I could scoop up muffin or scone batter in a flash and not have any dribbles on my muffin tins that I needed to precariously wipe off with a teensy corner of a washcloth. Seriously. You deserve to spend a few bucks on yourself and make your life easier. Check out the cookie scoops I have here
. I have almost all the sizes (it becomes addicting, after you get one. Hehe), but I use the blue one for muffins, scones, and of course, pumpkin bread. Just remember to fill your loaf pans 1/2-3/4 full so they crown, nicely, and don’t overflow the pans. 😀
Go ahead and bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted into the center of your loaves comes out clean. For my mini loaves, that took about 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t get too brown– and remember that each oven is different, so your oven may take a little less time than mine does.
While these little marvels are baking, your entire house will smell like a crisp, fall day. You will start itching to carve Jack ‘O Lanterns and take a hayride. You will think about bonfires and gorgeous foliage and stunning September blue skies. But most of all . . . you will think of pumpkin bread. Glorious, mouthwatering pumpkin bread.
When the loaves are finished baking, take them out of their pans and place them on a cooling rack. I’d tell you to let them completely finish cooling, but that would be a waste of time, because you and I both know that it’s nearly impossible to resist tearing off a little piece of those glorious, steaming loaves of fall loveliness and stuffing all that warm autumn goodness into your mouth. So cut yourself a slice, pour yourself a big cup of coffee, and sit on the porch. It’s still warm enough to have coffee on the porch– at least for a few weeks, yet. 😉 Then wrap up an extra loaf and take it to a neighbor or friend. Spread the love. That’s what friendship is all about– warming others from the inside out.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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