As soon as a nip in the air arrives, my thoughts turn to autumn favorites.
Truth be told, I make pumpkin bread year-round. It is a favorite of my grandchildren, so I make lots of mini-loaves to spread around the pumpkin goodness. My recipe makes six mini-loaves – enough for each grandchild and two to save for my table. They are delicious and moist alone, or scrumptious slathered with butter or cream cheese. They stay moist for days and freeze very well.
As usual, I can’t leave well enough alone. I’ve added nuts, raisins, and dried cranberries to my mini-loaves from time to time. Occasionally, I’ll add a rich glaze of butter, sugar, and rum extract or brandy extract that is poked into the loaves. Yum.
My mini-pans roughly measure 3″ X 5 1/2″. Don’t worry if yours are not that same size. If I add nuts and other goodies, I sometimes get seven loaves from the batter. Just check your baking time a little earlier if your pans are a bit smaller.
NOTE: I finally realized that all those mini-pans are much easier to manage getting into and out of the oven if I place them on a large cookie sheet. Just make sure you leave some air space around each loaf.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mini-loaves take about 55-60 minutes. Grease and flour pans.
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (more, if you like a spicier bread)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (more, if prefer)
3 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
Nuts, raisins, dried cranberries (optional) about 1 cup combined
Mix all dry ingredients together in separate bowl. In mixer bowl, add eggs, pumpkin, water, and oil together. Beat until blended. Pour in dry ingredients. Mix Well. Mix in any add-ins you choose. Blend on low. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake loaves for 55-60 minutes. Cool before removing from pans. (If using glaze, leave in pans, add glaze before removing from pans.)
Melt 1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick) in a small saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in 1 teaspoon rum extract (or brandy extract).
After you’ve removed the mini-loaves from the oven, poke holes in the breads (still in pans) using a fork. Slowly pour the glaze mixture over each loaf. Let stand until absorbed. Then remove loaves from their pans.
NOTE: This recipe will also make two large loaves (9″ loaf pans). Baking time for large loaves is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins including Alaska! Antarctica is the only continent that they won’t grow in.
The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighted over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs, and took six hours to bake.
The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.
(Photo of Small Pumpkin in Crate-Healthy Vegetable courtesy of Praisaeng@freedigitalphotos.net)
(Photo of Pumpkin Costume courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org)