Pumpkin Spice Bread Recipe
Since it totally ain’t fall without it y’all…
So I’ve been making this bread for years, and I’ve been keeping the recipe guarded for a long time. I first went in search of a good pumpkin bread recipe back in college, and all I found were a bunch of sad little orphan recipes. Too much flour, not enough moisture, not enough spices or too many spices; one even had 2 tablespoons of baking powder in it which is just stupid on it’s face from a chemistry stand point! After MUCH trial and error, I finally found the right combination of all those orphan recipes and the result is a lovely moist pumpkin bread that everyone swoons over. I figured it wasn’t nice of me to keep this beauty all to myself, so merry early Christmas to you!
FYI, this makes two loaves. You can cut the recipe in half, or you can also do a pan or two of pumpkin bread muffins which are equally amazing.
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoon ground cloves
Step 1: Go ahead an preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Blend the dry ingredients first. Start with 3 and 1/3 cups of flour. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda.
Then 4 teaspoons of cinnamon powder.
Then 1 teaspoon of salt.
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
And finally 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cloves. Cloves are the most prominent flavor in this bread. If you’re not that fond of them – people either love ’em or hate ’em – tone it down to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon instead of the full amount.
I like to use a metal whisk to make sure all of the dry ingredients are well distributed. As always, the reason we blend the wet and the dry separately is to prevent large clumps of spices/flour/etc for remaining in the final product. It’s not worth being lazy. Redding re-learns this the hard way about once a year…
Step 3: Combine the wet ingredients and the sugar (Sugar is special because it becomes part of the liquid blend without putting up a flight like flour does – Fun fact: it dissolves better in the wet too which is why all good recipes call for it to go in with the wet ingredients). Add 2 cups of pumpkin puree, 3 cups of sugar, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of veggie oil, and 4 eggs and blend. The veggie oil and the eggs are what gives this bread all of it’s good moisture. DO NOT use canola oil for this recipe unless you want your bread to taste like a candle.
I like to render my own pumpkins each year so the puree is fresh – Read here how I do it!! I prefer to use small-medium sized jack-o-lantern pumpkins for rendering each year because they have more vascular/fibrous structure which makes the bread more like a banana bread and less like a really dense pound cake like pie pumpkins produce. They also don’t have as much sugar/sweetness in their pureed form. If you choose to use canned pumpkin, be sure it’s not sweetened, otherwise you’ll have too much sweetness – your bread will be more orange in color too. If you choose to render your own, it cans and freezes great and can be saved for later (comes in handy when the pumpkin spice craving hits around August and the pumpkins aren’t out yet).
Blend all of the wet ingredients well into a nice mixture where you can’t tell the parts from each other.
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients into the wet and blend until you don’t have dry “chunks” in the mixture. Technically, you should add it while blending, but I’m not that coordinated – even with two hands and my fancy Kitchen Aid mixer I still manage to redecorate my kitchen if I try to simul-add and blend. It’s not the end of the world if you have to dump them all in and make it work from there, promise.
Step 5: Pam and/or flour two bread pans. I write “and/or” because I’ve had the best luck with this one doing a combination of the two, but some people are purists one way or another. I use Baking Pam because it tastes better and ish 2 tablespoons of flour and roll it around into the Pam. Certainly don’t skip putting something in the pan to keep it from sticking.
Dump out whatever four doesn’t stick if you’re doing this my way. I started this because my bread pans never seemed to “flour” and I didn’t ever trust it not to stick after having some ugly run-ins with stuck and crumbing breads. This works pretty well, just don’t overkill it with the Pam or you end up with too heavy of a flour flavor left on the bottom of the bread.
Step 6: Pour the batter into the two bread pans equally. This bread rises almost two-times where it started so keep that in mind if you’re using an unconventional pan or making muffins.
Step 7: Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour or until the top doesn’t “wiggle” anymore. This is a pretty moist bread, and I’ve learned that the classic “insert knife or toothpick and see if it’s clean” method isn’t very telling since it comes up moist until after it’s been beyond overcooked. The time can vary some depending on how large your pans are/what they’re made out of/if your oven is a prick/etc. I’d keep an eye on it until you’ve nailed down your magic baking time.
Step 7: Stand them for 10-15 minutes or until you can touch the pan without burning yourself. They should just flip over and tap out of the pan. If they’re giving you grief, let them stand a little longer because these are notorious for breaking and crumbing if you try and force them out too early. Patience is a virtue, and one that is well worth it in this case.
Step 8: Enjoy! Personally, I prefer mine hot with a big ol’ blob of butter in the middle, but a lot of people like the pumpkin spice cream cheese spread I make on it. Recipe soon, I suppose!