It's a pumpkin sort of weekend here. My baby boy is celebrating a birthday this weekend and, in our house, birthday boy gets to select the menu. Birthday boy requested pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. As for the pies (I always make two at a time), I use the recipe on the Libby's can and home-made crust (the way my mom taught me). Cool Whip is the topping... easy stuff.
This Pumpkin Bread is based on a recipe in my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (12th edition). I started making this a few years back. We were on a family vacation in Iowa and our hotel was near a Starbucks Coffee Shop. Each morning, my husband and I would would enjoy a slice of Starbucks' spicy, dense, moist Pumpkin Bread with our coffee. Most of the baked goods I've had at Starbucks are pretty darn good and I am pretty darn picky about my baked goods. I don't think my recipe is all that much like Starbucks' version, but it's good enough that my teen son requested it especially for his birthday.
Spicy Pumpkin Bread
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
2/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of two loaf pans; set aside. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients; stir with a whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing with the electric mixer after each egg is added. Add the pumpkin; stir in with the electric mixer. Add the water; stir in with the electric mixer.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients all at once. I like to work the flour into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula and I stir only until the point where the dry ingredients are moistened. This is just like making muffins; a little bit of lumpiness is okay and too much stirring makes tough bread... so less is better.
Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake loaves in pre-heated oven for one hour. Of course your oven and pans may vary, so your bread may take 55 to 65 minutes. To check done-ness, insert wooden toothpick near center of loaves; when toothpick comes out clean... bread is done. Cool loaves in pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pans; cool on wire racks. I wrap that loaves while they are still quite warm in plastic wrap and allow the loaves to sit overnight before slicing. I think the steam gets trapped and it makes for nice, moist, dense loaves.
the healthy chocolate chip cookies I make but he doesn't like any other cookies I make (he says they all make him sick to his stomach!?). He like to put french fries on his burgers (I guess that's not too unusual). When we have roast beef and baked potatoes, he takes a slice of meat and he makes a "sandwich" with the two halves of the baked potatoes being the sandwich "bun". (Oh, we do need to work on table manners). And if he's lucky, he'll be allowed to put some more blue cheese on his "roast beef baked potato sandwhich." Funny, huh?