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Practical Baker
Best Punkin Bread You've Ever Eaten!
Courtesy: America's Test Kitchen
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 • Posted November 7, 2013

Let me say from the start that this is not a typical “Practical Baker” project. Lots of steps, lots of ingredients, bunches of dirty dishes and utensils, lots of time invested by the baker. But the results are, in my opinion, worth the time and effort. It is also worthwhile to note that some other folks in our little town have tried sample of this Pumpkin Bread, and they agree with me: it’s the best they’ve ever tried!

Ingredients:

For the topping:

5 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8th teaspoon salt

For the bread:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 (15 ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree (I used pie filling)

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8th teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces (I just chopped it up and didn’t count the pieces!)

4 large eggs

¼ cup buttermilk

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped fine

Process:

For the topping:

Using fingers, mix all ingredients together in bowl until well combined and the topping resembles wet sand; set aside

For the bread:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans (I used 9X5’s), Whisk flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl.

Combine pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until reduced to 1 ½ cups; 6-8 minutes. Remove pot from heat; stir in granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil and cream cheese until combined. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until no visible pieces of cream cheese remain, and mixture appears well blended.

Whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Add egg mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine. Fold flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until combined (some lumps of flour is OK). Fold pecans into mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle topping evenly over top of each loaf. Bkae until skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let breads cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove breads from pans and let cool for at least 1 ½ hours. They will be very fragile until they have set up for the full 90 minutes! YUM!

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