Edie’s Pumpkin Bread | November 24, 2016

For me, my favorite parts of the Holidays are the memories. We all know how powerful sense memory can be.  Last night when I was baking pumpkin bread for my Thanksgiving table, I was right back in my mother’s kitchen baking with her. This time of year my mom was always busy making all her childhood favorite holiday foods as well as trying new recipes. We carried forward some of her traditions while making new ones of our own, through food.

Thanksgiving was a perfect combination of her family’s food traditions and creating our family’s.  Pumpkin Bread is one that has crossed several generations.  I can remember helping her making it as a child.  I started baking with her at a young age and I still love to bake because of the time we spent together. We had one of those red leather and stainless steel stools where the bottom step pulled out into a two-step, step stool. My mom and I also had matching aprons – that’s how I knew I belonged to her. We on the 5th generation of happy pumpkin bread eaters. It is so simple I am not sure why I only seem to make it around Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Bread, when it is perfect, is super moist but with a slightly dark crunchy crust.  The bread is a beautiful, rich, deep color somewhere between an orange and a brown.  I can smell all the warm, seasonal spices when I see that color.  (I once bought a sweater because it was exact color of pumpkin bread.) You can jazz up this recipe by studding the bread with chocolate chips, nuts, or cranberries.  However, plain pumpkin bread that has been in the toaster or under the broiler for a few minutes smeared with cream cheese is pretty close to food nirvana.  Sometimes for breakfast my mom would spread a piece with peanut butter for me.  I think that was a carryover from her Bucks County, PA upbringing, although in fairness, her family ate a lot of peanut butter.

With all “quick bread”, you want to be careful not to overmix.  You want to make sure you stop stirring as soon as you don’t see any remnant swirls of flour.  After you pull the pumpkin bread from the oven, let it sit on the rack for about 20 minutes.  It will still be lovely and hot when you slice it but this allows the middle to keep cooking a little and sets it, for lack of a better description.  This bread is so versatile.  You can let the loaf cool, wrap it up in waxed paper or foil and then freeze it or eat it over the next few days.  It really will keep its moist interior and I LOVE to toast it for crispiness but also longevity.  My nephew loves it with vanilla ice cream.  As a matter of fact, he was at my house last night when I took the loaf out of the oven, by the time I had cut a piece to photograph he already had the ice cream out of the freezer.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Bread

YIELDS 1 loaf |  PREP TIME  10 minutes + bake time |  PRINT PDF

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, beaten

1 ½ cup sugar

½ cup oil (I use olive oil)

¼ cup water

1 2/3 cup flour

¼ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup pumpkin

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat oven to 375F.

Beat eggs, add sugar, mix well.  Add pumpkin, oil, and water.  Mix.  Add dry ingredients, mix well but do not over mix.  Bake in a loaf pan until a toothpick comes out cleanly.  45 – 60 minutes.