Recipes and Me

Friday, January 11, 2013

Two Way Pumpkin Bread

I have been making Pumpkin Bread for years so it’s kind of an oldie but goodie.  It is hands down one of my favorite motivators to get in the kitchen and bake, and eat.  The spices are an incredible combination, with a spicy bite of ginger and a healthy bit of cinnamon, which amps up both the sweet and savory flavors of the bread.  Fresh from the oven, it is such an incredible comfort on a cold and bleak winter afternoon spent in the house.  But the best thing about this recipe is its versatility.  You can eat it for breakfast.  You can eat it as an afternoon snack.  You can warm it for 10 seconds, top it with fresh whipped cream, and voilĂ  – an amazing dessert!  And it never goes to waste.  There is usually a strong feeling (sometimes more of an urging by friends) that I should make a second loaf as the first one always seems to disappear so quickly.

You know well my love of simple seasonal recipes.  One trick in my arsenal for taking a recipe to new heights, yet keeping that wonderful element of simplicity, is to add a second textural component of the “key” ingredient.  So, think bright tart lemon zest in a lemon buttermilk cake, or a beautifully woodsy green sprig of rosemary atop a dish that has chopped rosemary stirred throughout.  In this pumpkin bread, the simple use of crushed pumpkin seeds as a crust really elevates the taste.  The opposite textures are so good together.  Seriously, once you try this with the pumpkin seed crust, you won’t be able to go back to plain old pumpkin bread.

Two Way Pumpkin Bread 

Serves 6-8


1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
4 large eggs (room temperature)
¾ cup canned pumpkin
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease and flour a loaf pan; set aside.  Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.  Chop the pumpkin seeds roughly and also set them aside.  With a mixer, beat the eggs, both sugars, and vanilla extract on high speed for about 45 seconds.  Turn the speed to medium and add the canned pumpkin and vegetable oil; mix until well combined.  You may need to scrape down the bowl a couple of times to make sure everything is incorporated.  Turn the beater down another notch and add the dry ingredients in thirds.  Turn the speed back up to medium just for 5-10 seconds until everything is incorporated.  Pour the batter into the greased and floured pan.  Rack (pound) the pan a couple of times on the counter to release any air pockets (you may want to put a towel on the counter and do it on the towel).  Sprinkle the chopped pumpkin seeds on top. Bake 60-65 minutes until the bread is nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean.  You can cover the bread with foil towards the end if it starts to get too brown.