Pumpkin bread is something I like to start baking a few weeks leading into the holidays. It's wonderful to give as a gift to loved ones, but it's also great to have on hand because it is so tasty. Don't think, however, that I limit myself to baking this delicious bread only around this time of the year. I've been known to whip up a batch of these loaves well into March if the mood strikes me. Although the original recipe I use is a classic, I've changed bits here and there over the years and I think that this final version is my favorite. The recipe makes 4 large 9x5x3" loaves, but can be cut in half if you wish to only make 2 loaves. Let me show you how I make them.
Large bowls from my yellowware collection.
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 8 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups orange juice (cranberry, apple or pomegranate can be used)
- 4 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 6 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups raisins or currants (or your favorite dried fruit)
- 2 cups toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350° F (racks centered).
Toast your walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Let them cool completely; coarsely chop. Take 1 tablespoon of your measured flour and toss it into your raisins. Doing this will help suspend them in the batter as the breads bake.
Cream your butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle/spade attachment for about 4 minutes, until the mixture is light & creamy. Stop and scrape your bowl at least once during this process. This is what your want your mixture to look like (above) before proceeding.
Add your eggs one at a time and beat well; let the eggs emulsify into the sugar/butter mixture one at a time. Your mixer bowl should be scraped once or twice during this stage of mixing. After all your eggs have been incorporated, the mixture should be thick and smooth (above).
Now it's time to add your pumpkin puree and the juice. Beat this until combined. Don't be alarmed if your mixture looks grainy. This is normal. Stop your machine, detach your bowl and scrape the paddle of all that delicious batter.
Note: if you're using a 5qt. or 6qt. mixer, it will not be large enough to accept all of that flour, so use a large bowl (7qt. is perfect) to proceed with the recipe. If, however, you've cut the recipe in half, your mixer can do all of the mixing.
In a large bowl, add your dry ingredients. You'll notice that I sift my spices along with my leaveners through a sieve in order to remove any lumps. This is crucial. After you've done this, simply whisk everything to combine.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Combine these mixtures well with a large spatula.
Add your raisins and nuts just before you've finished mixing your dry and wet ingredients. This will prevent you from over mixing. Can you see the raisins covered in flour?
The 9x5x3" loaf pans are buttered well and lined with loaf liners. If you're not going to use the liners, simply dust the buttered pan with flour and tap out the excess.
Scrape all of your batter and divide it evenly. To make that attractive crack down the middle of the loaf, I use a paring knife and make a slash lengthwise. Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Don't over bake. Let the loaves cool in the pans set on racks for 15 minutes. Remove the loves carefully & let them cool completely.
Delicious Pumpkin Breads.
Make a batch of this scrumptious bread for your family & friends during the holidays. I absolutely love baking many batches of this Pumpkin Bread because it keeps so well & seems to improve in flavor day after day. You can, of course, roast your own pumpkins and puree the flesh if you don't want to use the canned variety. I've always gotten good results with sugar pumpkins or even butternut squashes. One thing you can be sure of is that there won't be a crumb left after you bake this version of Pumpkin Bread.