Thursday, September 16, 2010

Test Kitchen Thursday

Last week I found a recipe on an on-line blog for Pumpkin Bread.  Sounded like a good time of year to practice and find the right pumpkin bread recipe for the 2011 ISF.  After thinking about it I decided I would make Thursdays my recipe posting day.  My goal is to bake earlier in the week and have the post ready first thing Thursday morning.  This fell through this week though.  Yesterday when I tried the recipe it was horrible!  There were a couple red flags but I said to myself, "no, I will follow the recipe exactly as written."  Big mistake.  I think the person posting the recipe just made a couple typo errors in the ingredient measurements.  If you ever see something in one of my recipes that looks horribly wrong - please let me know!   So, I couldn't give you that recipe.  I'm really not kidding we fed the loaf to the chickens.

Back to the drawing board I put together my own recipe today.  I'm not claiming it's an original if you find one just like it out there, I am saying I put it together without referencing a recipe book or on-line source.  This one was so much better.  I may tweak it to get a little more pumpkin taste but it was really good.

Here is my Pumpkin Bread Recipe -- make and enjoy!  If you have any suggestions for improvement send them my way.

Andrea's Pumpkin Bread


2 C        King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour
1 t          baking soda
1/2 t       baking powder
3/4 t       salt
1 t          cinnamon (I usually make it a heaping teaspoon of Vietnamese cinnamon- I like cinnamon.)
1 t          nutmeg
1/2 t       cloves
1/4 t       ginger (omit if you're not a ginger fan).

1 t          vanilla (I use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla from the King Arthur catalog)
4            eggs (from my little laying hens)
1 C        granulated sugar
1/2 C     brown sugar

1/2 C     sour cream (I actually used light sour cream - worked well; do NOT use fat free)
1 C        pumpkin (I used the pumpkin we froze last year - you can use canned pumpkin)
3/4 C     canola oil

1 C     roasted sunflower kernels

Prepare 2 - 8 x 4" loaf pans.  When preparing pans for quick breads be sure you only grease and flour the bottom portion - up about 1 inch.  Luckily my pans are so old and worn there is actually a discolored line right at this mark.  According to ISF judges this year I learned they prefer the grease with shortening and flour method rather than using baking spray or other methods.  Butter scorches so stay away from greasing with butter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix/whisk the dry ingredients together.  Set aside.  Beat together the vanilla, eggs, and sugars.  Mix the pumpkin, sour cream and oil into the egg/sugar mixture.  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Mix well (but do not over beat).  For quick breads I have gone away from using my stand mixer.  I mix everything by hand which for me has resulted in better breads.  My theory is I was over beating in the mixer.  Nothing against my stand mixer - I adore her but she is a very powerful machine.  Allow to set 8 - 10 minutes before putting in oven. Note: this suggestion is for quick breads made with whole wheat flour (don't do this with all-purpose flour breads).  This sit time allows the moisture to work with the whole wheat.

Add the sunflower kernels to the top of each loaf just before placing in oven.  Bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Always check at least 10 minutes earlier than recipe suggests since all ovens cook differently.

After removing from oven allow to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Since I wasn't sure how much it would make I started with a 9x5 pan.  Only fill pans 3/4 full.  Once I reached the 3/4 mark I had just a little left over.  It fit perfectly in a mini loaf pan.  The mini loaf was so cute (and yummy).  The next time I make this bread I will use a full can of pumpkin (or equivalent amount of our frozen pumpkin) so there wouldn't be waste if someone uses canned pumpkin.  Not sure what to do with the flour/dry ingredient amount though.

Garden grown pumpkin
My little helper.

Ready to bake! (after putting on the sunflower kernels)

Baby loaf.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tried to post a comment previously somewhere else, (I think on banana bread), but I don't know how to find it. lol This recipe looks great! I am a big fan of pumpkin and banana bread. (Always have plenty of the main ingredient and not so expensive). Like I said on a previous comment, I won quite a few quick bread competitions at my state fair. I know presentation is key...and in my state fair, they didn't allow any nuts on top. (I always put crumbs on top of mine, i.e. butter, flour, nuts, sugar and spice), except for fair. If you want "PERFECT" shaped breads, buy a new Teflon or non stick quick bread pan, spray Pam, (not butter flavored), ever so slightly on the bottom..not on the edges or that will cause "ears" and sharp edges to form when baked. Cool almost to complete, then, work the "spatula" along the sides down to the bottom, be careful not to scratch sides, then tip into your hand. If it is too hot, it may break. Also a tip I learned...if you enter any fresh fruit bread, even muffins, they say to roll the rinsed fruit in flour just before putting in the batter. This reduces the blueberry muffins and cranberry bread. Nice blog....good luck. Mary :)