Monday, December 14, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Bread with butter in its multitude of variations is my biggest downfall in life and something I tend to stay away from in general so that when it does cross my path at the occassional dinner in its finest form, I can partake. And in order to partake, it has to be special, meaning a taste and texture combination so delicious that I am willing to risk the carb overload and potential pound creeping on for the five seconds of bliss between bite and swallow. This usually happens at fine restaurants when the creative bread basket arrives full of favorites like hard crusted sourdough rolls filled with plenty of nooks and crannies for butter delights, thick parmesan crisps with flecks of carmelized garlic, soft brown pumpernickel rounds flecked with oatmeal flakes, or soft french squares dusted with powder that open to reveal steaming white innards, and finally, the myriad varieties of rye. Of course, when the holiday season rolls around, things get much worse while every relative and business association begins sending loaves of sweet and spicy breads as gifts. Recently, I was the recipient of a pumpkin spice loaf that was out of this world moist and fragrant. I had to give in to two sweet slices, heated in the microwave for a minute with a fresh pat of Blue Bonnet butter. The recipe below is forty years old, make your own and spread amongst family and friends so that we can all collectively gain five pounds and pretend we don't notice!

Pumpkin Spice Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (16 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup water

In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to the pumpkin mixture alternately with water. Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-65 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack; cool completely.

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