Yesterday morning in Pittsburgh felt way more like late October than mid-September – it was chilly, drizzling and grey. And last night brought our first frost warning of the year, yikes! I love this kind of weather, but the quick turn took me by surprise. While thinking about some new recipes, I immediately decided that the weather called for pumpkin and all of the warm spiciness that is associated with it. While I have a handful of pumpkin recipes on the site (Pumpkin Pie Bars, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel – my favorite!, Pumpkin Scones, and of course Pumpkin Pie), I feel like it’s merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of possibilities when it comes to baking with pumpkin. One of my goals this fall is to bring you more amazing pumpkin recipes, starting with this super easy quick bread.
It had to be fate (or a great social media presence, take your pick) that after I had decided to bake something with pumpkin, I signed into Facebook and near the top of my news feed saw that King Arthur Flour had posted a recipe for their easy pumpkin bread. Obviously, it was meant to be. Pumpkin, check. Easy, check. Quick, check. It sounded like the perfect way to trudge through a drowsy kind of day. The batter took 10 minutes, tops, to prepare, and then into the oven they went. They have a fairly long baking time (an hour to an hour and 20 minutes), but that’s the perfect amount of time to catch up on some reading or the DVR under a cozy blanket.
The nuts in the recipe are optional, but I highly recommend them. Just like pumpkin is amped up by spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, the same is true when it comes to throwing nuts into pumpkin recipes (especially pecans or walnuts) – I feel like it gives the recipe that extra oomph. This bread is amazingly moist and has a slightly sweet, clean pumpkin flavor.
I already have a few more pumpkin recipes lined up, but if there are any specific ones you’d like to see, please share them below. We have a lot of cold weather months ahead of us, so there’s plenty of time to get the baking in!
3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup vegetable oil
2-2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups (15 ounces) canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8½x4½-inch loaf pans.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and sugar until combined. Add the eggs, pumpkin, water and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently until combined. Using a large spoon or spatula, stir in the nuts.
4.Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 60 to 80 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Remove the bread from the oven and place the pans on a cooling rack. Once the breads are completely cool, turn out of the pans. You can serve immediately or, for even better flavor and moistness, wrap the loaves in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight.