Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Bread

I love Fall. I especially love Fall this year after the torturous Summer we had here at the Beehive. *shudder* I cringe thinking of this past summer. And to make the summer worse, there wasn't a single can of pumpkin puree at our grocery store all summer. Not a single can. Even if I had felt like sweating it out in the kitchen, I couldn't have made a single loaf of pumpkin bread or batch of pumpkin penne. So when I saw two huge end racks full of cans of pumpkin at my grocery store this week, I grabbed can after can loading them into my cart until I felt the eyes of shoppers around me starting to stare. We have enough pumpkin to last at least two weeks years. Although I may go back for more tomorrow, just in case.

This delicious bread is full of pumpkin flavor and is so moist that you almost don't need your morning cup of coffee to wash it down. Which is a good thing, since S devours this bread on his way to work, sans coffee cup.
As with most of our eats, this recipe has been modified to be a lower-fat version of the original. If you're feeling like the full-fat version is up your alley then reduce the pumpkin to 16oz. increase the oil to 1 cup and use all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat.

Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Bread
makes 2 loaves

2 c. sugar
3 eggs
24 oz. (one and a half cans) of canned pure pumpkin (not pie mix)
1/4 c. oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
1 t. cloves
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. pecans, chopped and divided (toast and cool 1 cup of the pecans before adding to the batter for an even nuttier flavor)
2 T. brown sugar

1. In an electric stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and eggs for several minutes until pale and creamy.

2. Add pumpkin and oil and beat until well combined.

3. Add flours, spices, soda, powder and salt and mix until just combined. Gently stir in 1 cup of pecans just until incorporated. Do Not Over Mix!

4. Divide evenly between two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle each loaf with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and half of the reserved pecans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 - 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf is no longer wet. A few crumbs on the toothpick are ok; my oven needs 70 minutes to get a few crumbs and a moist loaf. Cool on wire racks (trying not to pick the pecans and brown sugar crust from the top of the entire loaf). Store in an airtight container or slice and freeze for a quick grab-and-go weekday breakfast.

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