This is the most wonderful time of the year. Fall. And to celebrate it I bake Pumpkin bread. For me, Pumpkin bread is autumn all mixed together in a tidy little loaf – fallen leaves, crisp days and shorter days. The smell of this quick bread baking fills my house every autumn. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar all come together for a fragrance that is soothing, comforting and mouth-watering. This past weekend I baked 12 loaves and loved every minute of it and later on I enjoyed every bite of it.
I’ve been making this bread for close to twenty years because it’s easy and no-fail. Every cook needs a few go-to recipes in her collection that she can whip out at a moment’s notice and not fret over whether or not it will work. This is one of them. Yesterday was the perfect day to finish the baking because it was fall clean-up day here. The day was cool and clear, so while the crew worked outside I stood in my comfy and warm kitchen to bake.
Baking so many loaves takes a little prep work. I estimated that I needed 5 batches of batter to make the loaves I needed for friends, neighbors and co-workers. Once I knew that, I simply measured out all of the dry ingredients and made my little “mix packages” (I use this method to bake Christmas cookies.)
Then when I’m ready, I add the wet ingredients.
Once the mixture is combine, don’t over mix, I divide between loaf pans that have been greased and floured. I usually can get 3 loaves per batch using 8 3/4″ x 4 1/2″ foil pans I pick up at the dollar store (3 for a $1, how great is that?) Then they are ready to go into the oven for an hour.
Now is the time to just breathe the most amazing aroma that is wafting through the house. It’s really hard to have to wait. A whole hour. Ugh. But finally the timer goes off and it’s time to pull the loaves out of the oven.
Now I have to wait again. This time for the bread to cool. I keep myself busy and the minutes tick by slowly. I keep checking the bread. Is it ready to slice? Finally, it’s time. I grab a knife, a plate and my cup of tea.
I’m content now. My house is warm, I have my all-time favorite bread and a steaming cup of tea. What more could a gal ask for on a brisk Sunday afternoon? Not much more. But, this gal had deliveries to make. I gathered up the loaves to be given to friends and neighbors and I was off.
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tbs light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350. Sift dry ingredients together in large bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs then stir in pumpkin, oil and water. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, stirring well to moisten. Divide evenly between 2 greased and floured 9 1/2″x5 1/2″ or three smaller loaf pans 8 3/4″ x 4 1/2″.
Bake for about 1 hour until cake tester inserted in center of loaves comes out clean. Set to cool then turn out onto rack to completely cool.