Sunday, October 06, 2013

Pumpkin Zing

The yellow and brown leaves were swirling around this week in the brisk breezes. Autumn is such a great time of year. Pumpkins are showing up at the market and in front of the hardware store, ready to add their cheery color and wicked smiles once they become jack o'lanterns. Although this is the season of the year when things are ending in nature, it is often a time of new beginnings for me.

A couple of days ago a new stove and new dishwasher were installed. Any renovation of the kitchen that involves new cabinets or flooring or lighting or counter tops or new doorways or fewer wall will have to wait a while. The entry project has taken far longer than expected and Sweetie and I need a break from the stresses of construction. A new stove and dishwasher, however, are fine because they were installed in the very same places that the appliances they replaced lived. They are both stainless steel and quite beautiful in a way.

I decided that the best way to try out the new oven was to make a quick bread. Very little time is wasted if the loaf doesn't turn out well. We had some super ripe bananas, so banana bread went in first. Then I gave in to the rush of fall feelings and made pumpkin bread. Both were done in a much shorter time than in the recipe, probably because this oven has a convection feature. Unfortunately both were a little burnt on the bottom, too. I think I'll need to bake things on a rack that is higher in the oven.

Have you ever wanted to combine the flavors of pumpkin bread with the zing of a triple ginger molasses cookie? That's what I did and it is an exciting bread. The texture is moist from the pumpkin and the color is a nice deep orange, but the best part is the flavor. Pumpkin is the first note, but it is followed by spices of cinnamon and cloves and a burst of ginger. I sprinkled some sanding sugar on top as a reference to the sugar that the cookies are rolled in and it give a bit of a crunch which is really nice.

The banana bread was my usual one, so no recipe today, but I do want to give you the pumpkin bread recipe. It's a keeper.

Super Ginger Pumpkin Bread
a very gingery, molasses-y, nutty, pumpkin-y sweet bread

 2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup milk
¼ light (mild) molasses
2 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
Sanding sugar topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl (both flours, soda and powder, spices).

Put the crystallized ginger, fresh ginger, pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, molasses and eggs in a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.

Add the dry ingredients and begin to combine. Add the nuts and mix just until all are well blended.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Top with sanding sugar, sprinkled on thickly. Bake in preheated oven 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan five minutes, then turn out of pan and cool on a cooling rack.


  1. How exciting to get a new oven, I have oven envy! My flat needs a new one, I don't get on with it all. Yours looks amazing.
    The pumpkin bread sounds delicious too.

  2. Next Sister Down8:35 AM

    That looks wonderful. I used to bake pumpkin muffins frequently but haven't done so in ages. Maybe I'll try this instead. One of my techniques when the weather starts to get chilly but not yet cold enough to turn on the heater is to take the chill off the house by baking, and this looks like just the ticket. Warm the house and make it smell delicious.