October 18, 2008
Eating things with pumpkin in them is one of my favorite things about fall, and this pumpkin bread that my mom used to make is one of the reasons why. It's super moist and can even be made kind of healthy by subbing in applesauce for part of the oil. It's also versatile. When I was younger we would usually make one plain loaf and one with raisins but last time I made it I decided to experiment and made one orange chocolate pumpkin bread because at the time Lindtz's dark chocolate bar with candied orange peel and almond slivers was my new favorite chocolate. Anyway I added orange infused chocolate and some Grand Marnier to one of the loaves and loved it. So this time since I didn't have any Grand Marnier around I decided to use orange zest and regular dark chocolate and found that also worked quite well but here are some more ideas for mix ins if you want to experiment further:
peanut butter chips
cream cheese swirl
Some delicious heart shaped cranberry orange goat cheese that I bought this morning and cannot stop eating. But on to the pumpkin bread...
Wet ingredients... which look pretty unappealing.
3 cups sugar
3 3/4c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp nutmeg
2 c. pumpkin
½ c. applesauce
¼ c. vegetable oil
2/3 c. water
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
2 oz dark chocolate coarsely chopped
1 tsp orange zest (takes about 1 medium sized orange)
Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Make well in center of dry ingredients. Combine pumpkin, applesauce, oil, water, eggs and vanilla. Put into well, beat all ingredients until smooth.
Grease and flour two loaf pans. Pour half the batter into one loaf pan. Take remaining batter and add 1 tsp orange zest and 2 oz coarsely chopped dark chocolate. Mix to combine. Add orange chocolate batter to 2nd loaf pan.
Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool and cover or wrap in foil and freeze.
* The original version of this recipe called for 3/4 cup vegetable oil but last time I made it I subbed in applesauce for part of the oil and there were no noticeable changes, so since then I've kept the recipe that way. I also usually use slightly less than 3 cups sugar because I don't feel like it needs to be so sweet. This time I also tried using 2 1/4 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat and thought that worked well too.