Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Glazed Pumpkin Bread

One of my favorite indulgences this time of year is fresh from the oven Pumpkin Bread. This recipe was the first one our family tried years ago, torn out of a Family Fun magazine and it continues to be my favorite. It is so simple to make and sure to please the whole family.

In mixer, beat until well combined:
2 cups (16 oz) canned pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
(Careful, it's a lot of liquid for your mixer to take, start on low.)

In separate bowl, whisk and add to pumpkin mixture:
3 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cloves

Beat 2 minutes. Divide between two greased and floured (I just use pan spray) loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick comes out mostly clean (but still a little soft) in center. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans.

Some Tips:

  • Set your first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pans. Then check in 15, 10, 5 minute increments until bread is almost, but not fully firm in center. 
  • Bake on lower middle oven rack. I learned this from my America's Test Kitchen Baking Book. It helps the bread cook more evenly without getting too brown on top.
  • A new thing I'm trying is baking breads and cakes at 325 degrees instead of 350. My husband's Aunt told me about this trick, which helps things rise slowly, cook evenly and yields a moist, dense bread or cake.
  • For quick breads, I use 1 large bread pan, like this Wilton Aluminum Loaf Pan instead of 2 traditional 9x5 loaf pans. I learned about these amazing pans when I baked for Olympic Coffee Roasters. You get more center pieces, which we all know are the best!

I use two different glazes depending on my mood.

Cinnamon Sugar Glaze
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp. warm water

Whisk powdered sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, add 1 Tbsp water at a time until desired consistency is reached. I like a thick glaze that stays on the bread. Drizzle over cool bread, if it's too warm, the glaze will just run off onto the counter.

Vanilla Glaze
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine in saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes. Poke warm bread and brush slowly with glaze allowing to seep into the holes.

For more nutrition and seriously no difference in taste or texture, 
I've been using this awesome whole wheat flour 
from Wheat Montana. It's a fine sift, non GMO, great product 
with 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup!
I buy this 5lb. bag at Super Wal-Mart for around $4.50.
It's also cool, cause it reminds me of my sister Angie, from Montana. 
There is actually a Wheat Montana Bakery in her hometown--lucky.


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