Junior loves pumpkins. He began carving them for Halloween the day they hit our local grocer-mid September maybe?
Along with carving pumpkins, he wanted me to buy Sugar Pumpkins for decorating in the house, and eventually use for food. Rent’s Due Ranch included both Sugar and, the newer, slightly larger variety, Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkins in the box of mixed winter squash I bought from them. I baked one of the Luxury pumpkins.
The squash baked beautifully, giving a good portion of dense, not-to-watery flesh. I whiz the pulp in the food processor to have a uniform texture, eliminating any stringy strands. From here, the pulp can be used or frozen. I made pumpkin bread, two times, two versions, two different days.
I didn’t have two eggs for the first batch so used some soaked Chia as a replacement. I used part coconut palm sugar, part evaporated cane juice. The recipe I have uses a small bit of applesauce, only 1/4-cup. I also used a smaller, stoneware loaf pan, baking the extra batter in custard cups. The resulting bread was dark, dense, and very moist.
For the second batch of bread, I increased the applesauce, reduced the sugar, using only ECJ as I was out of the darker coconut palm, had two eggs, and baked the entire recipe in a standard-sized, metal loaf pan. The resulting loaf was a bit more applely, and while still moist and less sweet, it didn’t have the dark, open-crumb mystery of the first. A third batch is due, wherein I will use Emmer, coconut palm sugar, very little ECJ, the same amount of applesauce, a bit more pumpkin purée, repeat the chia, maybe a little smidge of clove, and bake in the stoneware. I’ll let you know.
On a tangential note, I doubt I am the only one who lives with embedded Momisms, those phrases heard repeatedly during childhood, only to pop into one’s consciousness as an adult. The most common Momism for me in the kitchen is “Oh Honey, there’s a whole cookie left in there!” Originally heard when scraping cookie dough from a mixing bowl, I now hear it whenever there’s anything edible or usable left on a spoon, spatula, the bowl of a food processor, or the skin of a baked pumpkin. I don’t really hear it as judgement, more a reminder, a reminder sometimes answered by frugally gathering every remaining bit, other times whisking marked bowl or spoon to the sink, no further thought given. On this day, I took the reminder.
Pumpkin Bread (Version A)
Makes 1 standard loaf•10 minutes to assemble•30-45 minutes to bake
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup non-gmo canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon chia seed + 3 tablespoons water (let sit!)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons (7.6 oz) whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350F
Butter or oil the loaf pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sugars, oil, and applesauce. Whisk well.
Add the eggs, one at a time, to the sugar mixture. Whisk each addition thoroughly, then add the spices, vanilla, and pumpkin. Mix thoroughly, again.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour over the wet ingredients and fold gently together. Pour in 1/3 of the water and fold again. Repeat with remaining flour and water.
Fill the prepared pan up to 2/3 full. If you have extra batter, use any appropriately sized, buttered ovenproof dish to bake it in.
Start checking for doneness at 30 or 35 minutes. This bread is best if not over baked.