Coming from someone whose favorite season is fall and whose birthday falls on Thanksgiving once in a while, it might sound surprising that I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. Instead, you’ll find me gravitating towards the pecan or chocolate cream pie on our dessert table. I do love pumpkin; I guess I’m just particular about texture and the way in which it’s prepared. One of my favorite ways to enjoy it this time of year is simply roasted in the oven with butter, cinnamon, and cardamom (like these little roasted pumpkins). And as far as pumpkin desserts go, I adore pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread pudding, and pumpkin bread/muffins.
There are so many recipes out there for pumpkin bread that a quick google search left me feeling overwhelmed. I decided to flip through my neglected fall issue of Fine Cooking and was drawn to this pumpkin bread recipe because it uses olive oil instead of butter (which not only provides antioxidants, but justifies slathering each slice with butter before eating), honey is added for sweetness, and the top of the loaf is studded with pumpkin seeds. It sounded perfect, and since Levi was in the middle of one of his 3-hour marathon naps (which are few and far between), I decided to jump on the opportunity to bake!
The result was a pumpkin bread with a hint of nutty flavor and subtle kiss of honey, which really comes out the next day when you toast a slice in the toaster oven. The pumpkin seeds also add the perfect crunch. I found myself saving the top of my bread slice for last because of those tasty little seeds. The recipe says they’re optional, but I’d recommend adding them because it’s one of the things that sets this pumpkin bread apart from the rest.
Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread
(From the Oct/Nov 2011 issue of Fine Cooking; by Ellie Krieger)
cooking spray (or butter for greasing)
3-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) whole wheat flour
3 oz. (2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. table salt
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
2 TBS. unsalted pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and position rack to the center of oven. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray (or grease with butter, as I did).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, oil, and honey until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir with a large spoon just until evenly incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to settle the batter. Sprinkle the top with the pumpkin seeds, pressing them down lightly. Bake until the top is browned and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes (mine took a little longer – about 1 hour – but it was a rainy day so perhaps the humidity had something to do ith it? Who knows). If the bread begins to brown too much before it’s fully baked, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing. Serve with butter, because you deserve it 🙂