This pumpkin bread is the best pumpkin bread. The problem is that even so-so pumpkin bread is still pretty good, so you have to decide whether the extra effort is worth it.
Pumpkin Bread (Cook's Illustrated Sept/Oct 2012)
5 T packed light brown sugar
1 T flour
1 T unsalted butter, softened
1 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t salt
2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 (15 oz) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 t salt
1 and 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 oz cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces
4 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine
1. For the topping: Using fingers, mix all ingredients in bowl until well combined and topping resembles wet sand.
2. For the bread: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350. Grease two 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in bowl.
3. Combine pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until reduced to 1.5 cups, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat; stir in granulated and brown sugars, oil, and cream cheese until combined. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until no visible pieces of cream cheese remain and mixture is homogeneous.
4. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Add egg mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine. Fold flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until combined (some small lumps of flour are OK). Fold walnuts into batter. Scrape batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle topping evenly over top of each loaf. Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let loaves cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool for at least 1.5 hours.
The next time I make this: I will let the cream cheese sit at room temperature for a bit beforehand to speed up the addition to the puree.
If you want to try this (and, on behalf of your household members, co-workers, etc - you do), you can print this page by hitting the green print/pdf button at the bottom of the page.
Theme in Yellow
|by Carl Sandburg|
I spot the hills With yellow balls in autumn. I light the prairie cornfields Orange and tawny gold clusters And I am called pumpkins. On the last of October When dusk is fallen Children join hands And circle round me Singing ghost songs And love to the harvest moon; I am a jack-o'-lantern With terrible teeth And the children know I am fooling.