Classic Pumpkin Bread
Now that my pantry is happily restocked with pumpkin (after weeks of empty store shelves because of this year’s shortage), it was finally time to make my first batch of pumpkin bread for the season! Suffice it to say, I’m obsessed with the stuff. Love baking it. Love gifting it to friends. Love how perfect it is for breakfast, lunch, dinner…and everything in between. :) Pretty sure I even have an enormous pumpkin spice candle for the days when fresh bread is not gracing my oven!!!
But for some random reason, I became convinced last week that if I was going to post a pumpkin bread recipe on here, it needed to be super-healthy. And why couldn’t it be? There are lots of substitutions that can be made with these classic ingredients. So I searched around online, read through a few zillion recipes and reviews (although was surprised at how very few “healthy” recipes for this are out there!), and enthusiastically decided on one to try. It had no white flour (just wheat), no white sugar (just brown), no oil/butter (just applesauce+water), or no egg yolks. And surprise, surprise…it was no good. Argh. Not exactly sure why I thought it would be, and not sure why I didn’t go for a recipe that just used one or two substitutions. But unfortunately it was a 100% flop.
So to remedy the situation, I immediately returned to my favorite classic pumpkin bread recipe. And when I say classic, I mean classic. This recipe was the very first recipe I tried when I received my first cookbook — the classic BH&G with the checkered cover (yeah!). Loved it then, and have made it a zillion times since. It may not be the absolute healthiest, but it’s full of all of the great flavor and texture we love. And it makes a large batch, so bring out the big loaf pans or make a bunch of mini-loaves and share the goodness. :)
Cheers to the recipe that saved the day!!
Classic Pumpkin Bread
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup cooking oil
- 4 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves (optional)
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Grease two 9x5x3 inch, or three 8x4x2 inch, or four 7.5×3.5×2 inch loaf pans; set aside.
In a very large mixing bowl beat sugar and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add eggs and beat well; set aside.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Alternately add flour miture and water to sugar mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 55-65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of the loaves comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic or aluminum foil to keep fresh.
If you notice that the tops of your loaves are getting too browned while baking, just gently lay a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the loaves. Don’t tuck it in snug – just laying it there will prevent the browning but still allow the rest of the loaf to continue baking. :)