Welcome to the season of Pumpkin Everything. This pumpkin venture was inspired by a decadent recipe from White on Rice Couple for Pumpkin Spiced Coffecake. The cake is rich and full of flavor with an extra delicious crumble topping. However, it seemed a bit too indulgent for a weekday breakfast. I wanted a straightforward quick bread that's not too sweet, is vaguely nutritious, and uses the entire can of pumpkin puree.
This turned out to be uncomplicated and I was happy with the results. It is based on my Grandmother's Banana Bread recipe, but with the addition of some fall spices. The recipe makes two loaves of pumpkin bread and uses a whole can of pureed pumpkin.
14 Tablespoons unsalted butter ( that's 1 stick plus 6 Tablespoons) - melted
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 can)
4 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the baking pans with butter and flour. This recipe will make two large loaves; I made one large and three mini loaves.
Mix the melted butter, sugar and molasses until smooth and fluffy. ( If you do not have molasses, you can substitute brown sugar for the white sugar. Brown sugar has molasses in it for that caramel color and earthy taste. ) Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Add the vanilla and pumpkin puree and mix. The batter might look a little, um, gross at this point so just keep going and don't worry about it.
Sift the flour and all the spices and dry ingredients together. I like to sift straight into the wet ingredients. It's important to sift the flour so the final product isn't too heavy or dense, and it's important to mix the spices and leavening ingredients in for even distribution through the batter. Stir and gently fold the flour mixture into the batter until just blended. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly. Bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.