Since we’re well into Autumn, I decided to try a new pumpkin bread recipe that I found on finecooking.com, one of my fave cooking websites. The recipe gives you the option of making four mini loaves, one large loaf or one bundt cake (and the baking times that each one takes). I chose to make the mini loaves because they’re cute and I wanted to share the love with a few other people. The quick bread turned out moist with a mild pumpkin and spice flavor and a tender crumb. Changes to the recipe: I added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and omitted the finely ground black pepper. Next time I’ll try throwing in some chopped pecans. I will definitely be making this quick bread again.
Pumpkin Spice Bread
Yields four mini loaves, one 9×5-inch loaf, or one 12-cup Bundt cake.
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter softened; more for the pans
11-3/4 oz. (2-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. finely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1-3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/4 cups canned pumpkin (from a 15-oz. can of pure pumpkin)
1/2 cup buttermilk
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour four mini loaf pans, one 12-cup Bundt pan, or one 9×5-inch metal loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, black pepper, salt, and cloves.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on low speed with the stand mixer’s paddle attachment or on medium-low speed with a hand mixer until the butter is smooth. Add the sugar gradually and continue mixing on the same speed, stopping and scraping the bowl and beater as needed, until lighter in color and slightly fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until smooth after each addition, about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin and mix until it’s evenly incorporated into the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix until well blended.
Stop the mixer and add half the flour mixture. On low speed (for either mixer), mix until the flour is almost completely blended and then add half the buttermilk and mix until smooth. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix until smooth. The batter will be thick.
If using mini loaf pans, divide the batter evenly among the four pans (the pans should be about two-thirds full). If using a Bundt or full-size loaf pan, spread the batter in the pan (again, filling the pan no more than two-thirds full.) Smooth the top of the batter. Bake until the loaves are golden and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes for mini loaf pans (60 minutes for a Bundt pan and 60 to 70 minutes for a full-size loaf pan).
Let the loaves cool in the pans on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes to give them time to set and then turn them out onto a rack and flip right side up to cool completely.
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