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PUMPKIN BREAD

April 24, 2012 8:50 am 0 comments

Pumpkin bread is exceptionally incredible bread that is sweet, moist and full of flavours. It has a nice soft and crunchiness with nuts included and spiced with some special allspice and Chinese spice. This is an excellent dish that can be eaten at breakfast or as snack.

Flavoured with pumpkin puree, this pumpkin bread tastes little similar to the banana bread but with a different variation in flavour and taste. Pumpkin bread is an easy way to use up leftover pumpkin or any winter squash. For bringing out the best of flavours, you can either use a can of pumpkin puree or make yourself by steaming or roasting the pumpkin pieces, scooping out the flesh and mashing with a fork or blending in the blender. A can of pumpkin puree gives you a stronger pumpkin flavour. The blend of spices combined with other ingredients lends a wonderful taste to the bread and the pumpkin puree helps the loaf stay deliciously moist and soft.

Pumpkin bread is yummy and easy to make without working much on the batter. While baking, it fills the house with its intoxicating fragrance and aroma which is a delight to our sense organs and especially the taste buds. The pumpkin bread has an implausible texture that remains moist for days. The taste of the bread gets better by time. Pumpkin bread has all the goodness of flavours like sweet, spicy, nutty and crunchy and truly is enjoyable to have in the morning with a cup of coffee or makes a nice snack to pack in lunch box. All flavours complement each other and offer an amusing kick to your taste buds.

Pumpkins are popular gourd like squash that are available in all shapes, colour and sizes. This comes from the gourd family, which also includes muskmelon, watermelon and squash. Pumpkin’s orange flesh has a mild, natural sweet flavour which is used in making various side dishes and in many desserts. Pumpkins are very versatile and used for cooking various recipes like pumpkin pie, sweet pumpkin curry, pumpkin orange and sage risotto and pumpkin masala etc. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers. In the United States and Canada, pumpkin is a popular Halloween and Thanksgiving staple.

Homemade pureed pumpkin for pies is usually quite thinner in texture than the canned puree. To alleviate excess moisture, bake rather than steam or boil the pumpkin. Mash and drain through cheesecloth before using in pies. Pumpkins are a tasty source of vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. It also helps prevent arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which can lead to strokes and/or heart attacks. Not only is pumpkin loaded with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, particularly alpha and beta-carotenes, it’s a good source of vitamins C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Orange or yellow pumpkin is commonly used in southern India added to a variety of curry or added to sambar. When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted. In its native North America, it is a very important, traditional part of the autumn harvest, eaten mashed and making its way into soups and purees. In Canada, Mexico, the United States, Europe and China, the seeds are often roasted and eaten as a snack.

For baking this wonderful and luscious Pumpkin bread, firstly preheat the oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, add 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter and mix until soft. Add 1 cup sugar and mix well. Add in 2 eggs one after the other, mix, add 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice and 1/8 teaspoon allspice and mix all ingredients well until soft and creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon table salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda) except the ¾ cup chopped roasted walnuts. Mix 3 cups of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then add as much of the 4th cup as necessary to achieve the proper consistency (moist, but thick enough to stand a spoon in). Finally add the chopped walnuts and stir in.

Pour the batter into greased muffin tins or bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees F. for about 1 hour. Bake on the centre rack until a toothpick poked into the centre comes out dry.

Tip:  This bread is a fantastic base for all sorts of additions. Get creative by adding in chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries or whatever else sounds good to you.

Because the moisture content of the pumpkin can vary, as it can in the flour, the recipe recommends between 3 and 4 cups of flour. I used about 3 1/2 cups, but don’t be afraid to trust your gut and adjust according to conditions.

Do experimenting in making this grand pumpkin bread which would make a decent loaf of quick bread and a handsome addition to any holiday dessert table. Do try this recipe.

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