Welcome to October's What's Baking?
We were challenged to bake with pumpkin or squash in the month of October, and what else could be a more perfectly timed ingredient? I immediately decided on pumpkin because I was planning on making a few batches of fresh puree and wanted to work it into this challenge. As you know I love pumpkin and look forward to fall anticipating all of the yummy treats that will come our of our kitchen. However, I was curious on the some of the history of pumpkins and how it relates to our food culture. I was going a bit of reading on Colonial America and found a few interesting tidbits of information on pumpkins. Pumpkins are one of the oldest native crops to America and have been cultivated by indigenous populations in North and South America for what is estimated to be about 6,000 years. Initially, seeds were eaten, but that lead to cultivation and eventually consumption of the entire pumpkin. I won't go into too much detail, but have linked the page from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation above if you are interested in reading more. Another this that I found really interesting is that many preparation methods have stayed very similar to their original preparation.
Back to the bread, I used a traditional quick bread method, but subbed out the oil for homemade unsweetened applesauce. I also added molasses because I love the flavor and thought it would work perfectly with pumpkin. The flavors of this bread are wonderful and perfect for fall, and the texture is dense and moist. I am so happy to participate in such a fun group and can't wait to see what everyone else made (and to get a few more pumpkin recipes to try!).
This week I have been working on a few Halloween recipes, and can't wait to share them with you next week!
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
Two eggs, beaten
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, applesauce, eggs, molasses and vanilla using a stand mixer or handheld beater till smooth. Beat in the sugars till evenly mixed. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the flour mixture by hand or on low speed.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth so that it is even. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until middle is set (this is a very dense bread and you will likely always have a few crumbles with the tooth pick test)