I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Christmas- Pumpkin Bread

Do you feel that?  There's a nip in the air.  Our house is decorated with lights and trees and glitter.  Rudolph and Frosty and Charlie Brown are all over the television, and warnings of shooting our eyes out can be heard over and over.  At this time of year, nothing seems to fill my Christmas food cravings better than a yummy, warm, spiced bread, and pumpkin bread will forever top my list of "things I'm willing to go up a size for."  Recently, I introduced this beloved recipe to my two oldest kids, and much to my dismay, they loved it...no more full loaves just for Mommy.  Bummer.  If you're in the mood for your house to smell like what Christmas should always always smell like (plus you get a yummy treat to go with that great smelling home) make this bread.  If you don't like it, bring it to me and I'll hide it from my kids and eat it alone in my closet while I let out my pants.

This recipe makes 3 loaves of bread or 3 dozen muffins.  I like to split the difference and make 2 loaves and a dozen muffins for the kids.

What you'll need:
3 cups of sugar
2/3 cup of Crisco
4 eggs
2/3 cup of water
1 can of pumpkin
3 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of cloves
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 cup of chopped nuts (I use pecans)

Now, before I get started on the actual recipe itself, I want to mention two things about the ingredients. First, you'll notice there is cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Yes.  All three all necessary.   They each add something important to the recipe, so you don't want to skip any of these.

Second, you may notice in my ingredient picture, I don't have a carton of eggs.  That's because in my breads and cakes, I prefer to use powdered eggs.  I wouldn't recommend them for an omelet, but for baking, powdered eggs tend to make the end product much more moist and delicious.  Of course, you can always use eggs you crack, too. 

Now on to the actual recipe...

Start by creaming your Crisco and sugar in a mixer until it's fluffy.

Add eggs and pumpkin and mix it really well.

In a separate bowl, combine all your dry ingredients.  This is important.  Without this step, the dry ingredients won't properly incorporate into your wet ones, and it could be really bad.

Before you add the dry to the wet, chop your nuts up to have them ready to fold in.

Now, a spoonful at a time, add the dry to the wet and mix it up until it's just incorporated.  This is technically bread, but I love the cakey texture it has when the gluten isn't well developed.

My kids aren't fans of the pecans, so I made a dozen muffins that were nut free.

Fold in the pecans (or walnuts...I bet that would be awesome) and split the batter into loaf pans. 

Bake the muffins for about 25 minutes at 350, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Bake the loaves for about an hour.
Here's hoping you have some sweet little beauties that will enjoy these with you this holiday season, too!

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