It was a hard week at work and I didn’t sleep particularly soundly last night. I am in the midst of planning a fundraising event and that, coupled with adjusting to the end of daylight savings and losing that last bit of much-needed sunlight on my commute home, has been wreaking havoc with my sleep. Waking up at an unreasonably early hour for a Saturday morning, I decided to busy my mind with something constructive (and yummy) and put my nervous energy to good use.
I’ve always found baking to be such a comfort. Not just the obviously delicious end result, but the process itself. I like how exact it is, but how you can also experiment and get creative if the mood should strike. So I pulled out my recipe box, mixing bowls and the ingredients for this yummy Pumpkin Bread. I love this bread. It is wonderfully spicy and pumpkin-y, and not to mention easy to make; the perfect comfort food for a nice fall day.
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (I prefer Libby’s, but any pumpkin will do, as long as it is just the puree, not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 1/2 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F; grease and flour a 9x5in loaf pan (I use coconut oil, because I like the extra flavor it adds to bread crusts. I feel like cooking spray or butter can leave it tasting kind of burnt.)
- In a large bowl, cream the butter (at room temp) and sugar together. Then, blend in the pumpkin, applesauce, eggs, vanilla and orange zest. It will seem a bit grainy, but that’s okay-it’s supposed to be.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix well.
- Add the flour and spices into the wet pumpkin mixture, and fold until just combined.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45min to 1 hour. The top of the loaf should sprint back when lightly pressed.
- Let sit for five minutes before removing to a cooling rack. You should be able to get about 10-12 nicely sized slices out of one loaf.