Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Baking Begins...Pumpkin Bread!

So here's the thing.  Apparently, I've been so busy doing the actual Christmas baking, that I've forgotten to blog about it.  So now I'm going to try to make up for some lost time.

First on the baking list every year is Pumpkin Bread.  It. Is. Awesome.  And I make it first because it freezes well.

Ain't it purty?  And it tastes great.  But it's not for the faint of heart.  It packs a bit of a punch.  That's why I love it.  I use this recipe right here and the only variation is that I just use a whole can of pumpkin instead of three cups.  Because the can only holds, like, 3 1/2 cups, anyway.

So let's walk through this together, shall we?  First, gather your ingredients.

I think this is most of them.  Flour, sugar, pumpkin, eggs, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and oil.  Please don't panic when you see how much oil we'll be using.  The recipe makes a very large batch. 

So start by mixing your dry ingredients in your mom's old Tupperware lettuce crisper:

Give that a good whisking.  Now combine the wet ingredients in a big bowl.

Mix that all together and forget to take a picture.  Next, dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir well.  It will be a little lumpy, but it will be fine.

Now that's a horrifying picture.  I apologize.

OK, let's get ready to bake!  Grease some loaf pans (I use homemade cake release) and fill them about 2/3 full.

If you use the full-size loaf pans (I think they're 9x5) you'll get three nice loaves.  Somehow, most of my loaf pans are slightly smaller, so I got three large loaves and two mini.  If I just make minis, I think I can get 8 out of one batch of batter.  But I like to mix it up.

Pop them in the oven:

Say a small prayer of thanks for your very roomy oven.  (Can you tell we're not necessarily working with pictures from the same batch?)

Bake them for about an hour. And then you have these:

Honestly, the aroma will knock your socks off.  This year, I made a few loaves with chocolate chips, and that was good, too, but I think I prefer it without. 

This bread is good from the oven.  But it's WAY better if you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and leave it on the counter over night before you eat it.  You'll have to trust me. 

Wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil, and it will stay fresh in the freezer for a long time.  I really don't know how long, because we'll eat it before it has time to get old. 

I made three batches this year.  I give them as gifts and include them in my Christmas baskets/platters.  (Several years ago, my longsuffering husband bought me a deep freezer for my Christmas baking.  It has come in quite handy.)

Well, that's all for today.  More to come.


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