December 18, 2009

Pumpkin Bread, back and better than ever

For some reason I never made any pumpkin bread during the appropriate season, so I'm making up for it now.  If you've been reading my blog for awhile, or if you know me, then you know I love pumpkin bread, and you know it was one of the first recipes I featured when I started blogging.  Back then, I used a family recipe and attempted to make it healthier by substituting applesauce for some of the oil.  While the results were nothing to be scoffed at, the addition of applesauce to any quick bread causes some noticeable textural changes after a few days-- the top gets a bit mushy and the bread can be gummy.

So this time I decided to make an all new, applesauce free yet still healthy, version of traditional pumpkin bread.  I used 100% whole wheat pastry flour and let me tell you, that stuff is amazing; it produces a texture, and taste, that's very similar to white flour.  I also used a mix of raw sugar and agave nectar in place of refined sugar and I changed around the spices for some added complexity.  However, my biggest change was using light coconut milk in place of the applesauce and some of the oil (in case you're curious, you can't taste the coconut flavor at all).  I think the coconut milk really made the recipe and, as a result, the bread turned out perfectly moist, slightly dense, wonderfully flavorful, and not at all gummy.

I was, and still am, amazingly pleased with the results.  Who knew a bread with no refined flour, no refined sugar, and hardly any oil could taste this good?  Believe me, you aren't making any sacrifices with this one.

Revamped Pumpkin Bread
As I noted above, this bread was a huge success but I do think you could probably add a bit less raw sugar (maybe 1/3 cup) because even though the bread was not overly sweet, it was by no means in need of sugar, and a little less sugar never hurt anyone.  I like to eat this toasted and spread with a bit of coconut oil or butter.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
a generous pinch ground ginger, cloves, allspice, and cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
1/4 cup light agave nectar
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup raisins

butter for the bread pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter your bread pan.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until evenly combined (add the raisins as well).  Mix the wet ingredients in a medium bowl until blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until everything is incorporated.  Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan and bake for 60- 70 minutes until a tester stuck into the center comes out clean.


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Herrad said...

Happy Christmas.