Pumpkin bread: A simple seasonal favorite
FoodA favorite tried-and-true recipe

Pumpkin bread: A simple seasonal favorite

The perfect addition to a lunch box or for a morning or an after-school snack

Pumpkin bread (Photo by Jessica Grann)
Pumpkin bread (Photo by Jessica Grann)

I’m so excited that autumn has arrived because it’s time to cook and bake my favorite tried-and-true recipes.

I’ve been eating this pumpkin bread since I was 4 years old, and it is always a staple in our home for the fall holidays and throughout the winter months. It’s so easy to make that children can manage it on their own, and it freezes beautifully.

While I grew up making the bread version of this recipe, I have finally perfected how to bake it into muffins — and I’ll share that tip below. I love having muffins on hand, especially ones that you can pull out of the freezer as needed. I also make these muffins for our Rosh Hashanah seuda to use in place of fresh pumpkin/gourds.

This is the perfect addition to a lunch box or for a morning or an after-school snack. The canned pumpkin creates a moist and flavorful dough without the need to add any dairy products.

I get most excited about sharing simple recipes like this one because it checks all of my boxes: one bowl, easy enough for kids to bake and kosher pareve.

I hope that you add this recipe to your family treasure trove.

3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
⅔ cup water
3½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger

Sift all the dry ingredients, including the spices, together and set aside.

I don’t recommend an electric mixer for this recipe. It’s simpler to do it by hand, and you’ll only have one bowl and a spatula to clean up.

Mix the oil and sugar in a large bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, combining each fully into the sugar and oil mixture.

Mix in the canned pumpkin and water and stir until well combined.

Add about a third of the flour mixture, stir well with a spatula, then repeat until the flour is well incorporated. Don’t overmix.

Grease and flour 3 loaf pans if you choose to make the bread version. Fill the pans to 1 inch below the top of the pan.

Alternatively, this makes about 36 muffins. Use paper or foil cupcake liners for the muffins so that there is no need to grease or flour the cupcake tins — this also makes for easier cleanup. When I make a batch of this batter, I often make one large loaf and use the rest of the batter to bake muffins; just remember that they need to be baked separately because the oven temperature is different for the muffins.

Bread loaves need to be baked at 375 F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and continue baking for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Keep in mind that metal pans can bake bread faster than glass loaf pans.

Cool completely in the pans before turning out onto a platter or cooling rack. If you wrap the loaf well, it will stay fresh and moist for up to 5 days on the counter. These loaves freeze very well if wrapped in plastic wrap. I like to have them on hand to send to family and friends.

For muffins, fill each cupcake liner to a half-inch below the top of the pan. Muffins need to be baked for 10 minutes at 400 F before reducing the heat of the oven to 375 F, then continue baking for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

I always suggest keeping an eye on baked goods. I recently got a new oven and it bakes everything so much faster than my recipes call for, so I have to be extra careful.

This is a moist dough, so it won’t appear as dry as a cupcake would. You can pull these out of the tins once they are cool enough to touch, and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack. Pop extra muffins into a resealable bag and store them in the freezer to take out as needed. These keep well for about 2 months in the freezer. Enjoy and bless your hands! PJC

Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh.

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