If only you guys could see how much behind the scenes scrambling I do with regard to this blog. It’s mostly digital scrambling – rearranging my blog post calendar because we’ve switched theater tickets, or I have a placeholder for a regular feature which needs prompting but hasn’t been sent out yet. Sometimes I get overly ambitious and think, “Oh, I’ll talk to someone else for a post about XYZ”, but then I wait until the day before the planned post and send out a hasty email, and surprise! The other person’s timeline doesn’t fit with my ridiculous schedule. Because I can’t expect everyone else to be willing to drop whatever thing they have going on to suit my schedule.
That’s a convoluted paragraph to say that this recipe was meant to go out later, but due to my own ineptitude and ignoring of my to-do list items, I am bumping it up to give myself some breathing room.
Which is not to say that the recipe isn’t good. In fact – it’s very good. And I’m not just saying that – I was told by my book club that this pumpkin bread was super tasty, and those words were reiterated to me by the Boy and his girls when I got home and they got to eat leftovers. By now there are not many leftovers left. In fact, I barely remembered to take pictures of all this pumpkin bread goodness, and probably made my book club wonder why I lept up in the middle of our book discussion to photograph our brunch food (just kidding – half of them read the blog. They’re not surprised!).
As E said – it reminds her of banana bread. That’s probably the walnuts, which can appear in many fruit-breads beyond banana, but are most associated with it. I probably could have used pecans – I’ve got a few left in my freezer that were a gift from friends, but the Boy snacks on them often, so I don’t actually know how many are left. Additionally, while I did halve the recipe, I somehow needed at least twice the baking time recommended. The lesson here is that you cannot depend on baking times alone – go by the “doneness” of your baked good. And yes, that may mean an extra hour of hopping up from finally watching the first episode of Anne with an E while you’re also trying to knit, but for pumpkin bread this good, it’s totally worth the wait.
Pumpkin Bread (with walnuts)
Yield: 1 loaf (original recipe is for 2)
3/4 cups (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine, will leave leftovers for other treats)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons fine grain salt
1/2 teaspoon each:
baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg
3/4 cups broken walnut halves
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5-inch baking pan with flour-based baking spray (or grease and flour pans).
Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vegetable oil, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Scrape down the bowl and mix again briefly.
Add the flour, salt, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg to the butter mixture. Mix well on low speed until just combined. Using a large rubber spatula scrape down the bowl and mix again until well combined. Fold in the walnuts.
Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour [NOTE: OR LONGER – BE SURE TO USE THE TOOTHPICK TEST]. Loaves are done with they are well-browned and a toothpick tester inserted in their centers comes out clean.
Turn the loaf out onto wire cooling racks. Serve slices warm or at room temperature.
Store loaf in large zip-top bag with the air removed, or double wrapped in plastic wrap.