October 30, 2010

Tis the Season for Pumpkin Bread

We couldn't let Halloween come and go without an easy and delish recipe that's quick to fix and perfect for ghouls and boys of all ages. I was rummaging through my mother's cookbooks and found a fun recipe for pumpkin bread. Although I didn't recognize the cookbook* the recipe was from my cousin Kay Reynolds. Kay is a former Home Economics teacher at Derby High School and known in our family as the accomplished entertainer.

I baked up some loaves and left one in Kay's kitchen in her weekend getaway I'm dubbing The Lodge. (See above.) There's also a chance that Kay baked up some bread this weekend, too.

The recipe is great because it calls for an entire can of pumpkin. I'm always frustrated with recipes that just call for a cup or a half can of pumpkin. I try to think of something to throw the leftover puree into (my friend Kate swears it makes chili great) but I always forget about that small amount in a plastic container hangin' out in the frig. Until three weeks later I open the container and discover I've got a great start for a science project.

It's a great recipe that calls for mixing with a spoon, so it's a great baking project for the kids to easily help in the kitchen. While rummaging in my mother's kitchen I spotted part of a Ghirardelli Chocolate baking bar. (How that thing didn't get eaten ages ago I do NOT know, but I broke up the bar and added it to the batter while I was pouring it into the pans. To finish off the tops of the loaves I added pecans and a sprinkling of brown sugar.

Kay Reynold's Pumpkin Bread
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg (or cloves or allspice or whatever sounds spicy in the back of the spice rack)
3 cups of sugar
1 cup of vegetable oil (I like Canola or sunflower)
1- 15 oz. - can of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, just the pumpkin puree)
4 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup water

In a large bowl mix together first six ingredients: flour through sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add last four ingredients: oil, pumpkin, eggs and water. Mix until the dry ingredients are wet. Place in 2 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. 

Times will vary depending on size of pans. The recipe for me made one large loaf, two medium loaves, two baby loaves and a dozen muffins. The muffins took about 15 to 20 minutes but the large loaf baked for more than 50 minutes.

* Recipe published in a custom published cookbook in memory of a father and son and the Kenney and Kent Kraus Vocational Scholarship at Mulvane H.S. in Kansas

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