Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Tea Bread

I am so excited for Fall. Last year we were so slammed at this time with the wedding preparations, I'm really not certain October 2009 actually happened. I'm pretty sure it was just a lie. Last weekend on a visit to PA I wore heavy sweaters, I sat near a bonfire, and I drank cider. It was lovely, but that's not why I'm excited. The pumpkins are back. They have returned to my muffins, my lattes, my Jamba Juice smoothies. They crowd tables at the farmers market and as I drove around last weekend, it seemed every town was involved in some kind of pumpkin gathering, pumpkin patch type pumpkin festival. This is the best time of year. Last year I introduced you to my consuming passion for Pumpkin Ice Cream. This year, I bring you Pumpkin Bread.

I was introduced to this bread when someone brought it to an office party. I demanded the name of the bread's creator, swearing I would marry him. It turned out the co-worker responsible was tall, lean, and named Will. I was in luck, I wouldn't even have to have the tux altered. Work Will declined my offer of marriage (I'm sure my Will is relieved) but he did provide me with the recipe which came from a bakery he loved in San Francisco, Tartine. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it provides both "American" measurements (cups, tablespoons, etc.) and the European style of measuring everything in milliliters and grams. The European way is (A) More precise, a blessing for someone who struggles with the exactness of baking and (B) Gives me an excuse to play with my super fancy awesome digital scale. Win, win.

Quick tip. This recipe require somewhat huge amounts of spices, so check them before you do your shopping. Otherwise your husband (the non-work Will) has to walk to the store at 7pm to buy some. Also, this recipe calls for a large amount of safflower or sunflower oil, which I have found at Whole Foods. If you cannot find these and use something else, please let me know how it goes. If I was a paid test kitchen, I would have tried a loaf with vegetable oil, and maybe one with olive oil. I am not a test kitchen, however, and have a full time job. If you wouldn't mind writing to the New York Times and telling them to hire me, I promise I'll do a much more thorough job of recipe testing. I'll also get to go to cool parties, and then write about them. Doesn't that sound nice? Now come on. Start the viral campaign.

Pumpkin Tea Bread

- 1 1/3 cups or 225 g All purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon or 7 ml Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp or 2 ml Baking Soda
- 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp or 25 ml Ground Cinnamon
- 2 tsp or 10 ml Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp or 1 ml Ground Cloves
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp or 25 ml Pumpkin Purée
- 1 cup or 250 ml Safflower or Sunflower Oil
- 1 1/3 cup or 270 g Sugar
- 3/4 tsp or 4 ml salt
- 3 Large Eggs
- Sugar and pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds for topping

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9" by 5" loaf pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into a mixing bowl. Use a wire whisk to make sure they are blended. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, beat together pumpkin, oil, sugar, and salt on medium speed until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds to make a smooth batter. It should have the consistency of a thick purée.

Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with sugar and sprinkle seeds on top.  Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cook in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, and then invert onto the rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely. Serve the bread at room temperature. It will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for 4 days or in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

This bread is delightful. I've brought it to parties or devoured the entire thing myself (followed by a week of guilt and gym attendance). The oil makes it super moist, and it is flavorful and inviting, a perfect thing for a Fall day.


Too Hot Toddy said...

I think your amount of Pumpkin Puree might be wrong.

Epicurette said...

Gah, good catch! That was for the ground cloves. All fixed!

tam - a little bit burnt said...

This sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

LookyTasty said...

Looks great! pumpkin bread FTW

Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes said...

The tea addition is new to me - sounds great! Making my first pumpkin bread of the season tomorrow, using a recipe from the Pastry Queen. Streusel topping!

Epicurette said...

There isn't actually tea in it, it's just called that because it would go well with a cup of tea. The original recipe called it "Tea Cake", but I thought it was more obviously a bread.

Cristina {Teenie Cakes} said...

Mmm. Great looking recipe. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg and I like the use of pepitas! Nicely done. :)

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