Monday, September 19, 2011

Pumpkin Bread, Y'all!

Fact:  I was bitten in the face by a bug.  In my sleep.  I'd like to thank the good sweet Lord that it wasn't poisonous and that it's in a relatively inconspicuous spot on my jawbone.  Small favors.

In lighter, brighter news, I made my first pumpkin bread of the season!  This is easily one of the best I've made, especially because of the glaze I came up with.  It's stupendously moist, even after sitting out a few days.  In fact, we were going to share it at the tailgate Saturday, but my sister decided that she wanted to eat it more than she wanted to share it.  And well, I'm not gonna argue with the pregnant lady about food.

I decided to leave her the rest of the pumpkin bread when I left yesterday.  I'll probably make some more this week.  My mom doesn't really care for stuff like this, so I'll more than likely have a loaf to myself.  Um, yes please.  With my coffee?  Sweet heavens.  Oh, don't be intimidated by the ingredient list.  It's mostly spices that are probably in your cabinet.

The dry ingredients:  All-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and nutmeg.  Confession:  The nutmeg is supposed to be freshly grated, but I just used what was in the pantry.

Wet ingredients:  Brown sugar, eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, butter, and vanilla extract.

In a bowl of the smallish variety, measure out all your dry ingredients.

Give 'em a whisk!  The recipe says to sift them together, but my sister doesn't own anything with which to sift.  A whisk makes the job easy peasy.  You can see the flecks of the different spices.

In a much larger bowl, cream your butter.  Let it get fluffy.  I decided to use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer just for funsies.

Now we add our brown sugar in stages.  I added it half a cup at a time and beat it until it was fluffy.  After the last addition I beat the butter and sugar for four minutes, per the recipe's instructions.

Egg time!  Add them one at a time, beating between each addition.

Now it's time for the star of the show.  Lovely orange pumpkin.  Usually I think the color orange is downright ugly.  Especially and specifically on football uniforms.  But this isn't exactly glaringly bright orange.  This is pumpkin.  It's its own shade.  Therefore, it gets a pass.

Beating the pumpkin in will give you a batter like this.  When it mixes with the brown sugar it gets that warm autumnal coloration.

In your measuring cup, measure out the milk and add the vanilla extract.  Give it a little swirl to combine.

Now we're going to add the flour mixture in stages.  Beat in about a third of the flour mix until just incorporated.  Alternate adding the flour with the milk.  

At the end of it all, it should look like this.

I sprayed down a loaf pan with Baker's Joy nonstick spray with flour.  You're "supposed" to butter it and line the bottom with wax paper.  The nonstick spray with flour worked just fine.

Spread it evenly in your prepared pan.  I won't blame you if you sneak a little batter.  Bake it in a 350º oven for 45 minutes to an hour.  I checked mine at 45 minutes and it was perfectly done with a few crispy edges.

Let it cool completely on a wire rack, then transfer it to whatever you'll be keeping it on.

I'm a big fan of glazes.  Check it: cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract (not pictured)

Cream about 4 ounces of cream cheese.  That's about half a package or container.

Add the powdered sugar and beat until they've blended together in an awesomely smooth mixture.

A couple of tablespoons of milk thins it and makes it pourable.

Don't you want to lick those beaters?  I did.  So did Emily.  Well we didn't lick them so much as we swiped 'em with a finger.  Hygiene.  

Add in the cinnamon and vanilla.  Okay, does anybody else see the lion in my vanilla extract?!  It's like looking at cloud shapes.  If it had been the Virgin Mary I'd have sold it to the highest bidder.

Seriously.  That's a lion.

Okay, okay.  Back on track.  Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon, and it looks glorious.

Pour the glaze over the cooled bread.  I promise the side is not black.  It's the lighting.  Promise.

Spread it around, making sure to get the sides too.  Sides need love!

Cut yourself a big ol' slice and eat up!  Eat it as a snack.  Eat it for breakfast.  Eat it for dessert.  Isn't the mark of really yummy bread that you can eat it for breakfast and dessert?  I think so.  There's no shame in that game.  At least, I hope not.

Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze (makes 1 9-inch loaf)
Adapted from Food & Wine

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
6 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c milk

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c powdered sugar
2 tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 350º.  Spray a 9x5 baking loaf with nonstick spray+flour.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy.  Gradually add brown sugar and beat for 4 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.  Beat in pumpkin puree.  Combine milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup.
  • Add flour 1/3 at a time, alternating with milk.  Mix until just incorporated, scraping down sides.
  • Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake 45 minutes-1 hour, checking at 45 minutes.
  • Let the loaf cool in the pan, 5-10 minutes.  Turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  
  • To make glaze, cream the cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  Add milk and beat to combine.  Stir in vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  • Pour glaze over completely cooled bread.  Spread over top and sides.

1 comment:

  1. You totally called out me and my selfishness :)