Cold days are meant for baking, so today I whipped up a couple of loaves of my pumpkin bread – I had a container of Pacific Natural Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree left in the cupboard from Thanksgiving (it really IS the best pumpkin to cook with).
There is just something so homey about the smell of something wonderful baking in the oven, isn’t there? And by the way, one of my secret ingredients is Jayshree Spices’ Tea Masala spice blend. It works well when making chai spiced tea, and you can bake with it too. I wanted something fun to accompany tonight’s dinner which is my hybrid cross between black bean and lentil soup and a spinach salad with a tangy apple cider-mustard vinaigrette salad dressing. (And no, I have not written down my soup recipe it is a dash of this, a pinch of that, but I can tell you it is quasi pureed, made with tomatoes and my secret to its smokey fabulous flavor is good ham and minced orange peel.)
Anyway, I thought I thought I would share my recipe, which is a constant evolution. Pardon the haphazard way I list ingredients, but when something comes out of my head sometimes the whole codifying a recipe isn’t perfect…
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two loaf pans and set aside.
1 15 or 16 oz container of pumpkin puree (I have seen both sizes – just pumpkin, no sugar or spice added)
3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup milled bran (yes that again – love it in baked goods- makes chocolate chip cookies extra yummy too!)
1 cup Smart Balance oil
1 1/4 cups organic white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup of orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (regular not sea salt)
3 tablespoons Jayshree Tea Masala Spice Blend
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon green cardamom
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
shredded coconut, quick oats, and turbinado sugar for dusting tops of batter in pans before it goes in the oven.
1. Mix pumpkin, eggs, oil, vanilla, orange juice, sugars, spices
2. Mix in all dry ingredients except milled bran. Mix well.
3. Add bran. Stir again
4. Pour batter into prepared pans and dust top with plain quick cooking oats, turbinado sugar, shredded coconut.
Bake at 350 for at least 60 minutes (my oven went 70 minutes on this recipe today). If a wood or stainless steel small skewer comes out of center clean, pumpkin bread is baked.
Cool in pans on baking rack about 20 minutes. Carefully remove loaves from pan and cool completely. This bread does need to sit at least an hour after coming out of over before slicing. (just my opinion)