It’s October which means pumpkin spice season has arrived. I like a few pumpkin spice things, but I know some people who are completely obsessed. They go gaga for everything pumpkin spice. Whether you fall into that obsessed category or not, you’ll love this simple quick bread. And feel free to use canned pumpkin puree (not canned pie filling), which is often less fibrous than fresh pumpkin puree.
Note: If you’d like to try making your own pumpkin puree, pick up a sugar pumpkin from your local farmer’s market. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds, place it cut side down on a rimmed, oiled half sheet pan, piercing the halves in several places with a sharp knife. Bake in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and can easily be scooped out. Cool completely, then puree in a food processor or blender until smooth (you can skip this step if your pumpkin isn’t too fibrous).
Start by preheating the oven to 350F and place the oven rack in the lower middle positions. Prepare your pan by spraying with Baker’s Joy; set aside until needed.
In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, applesauce, sugar, and eggs.
Whisk to combine.
In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Whisk well to combine.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and mix well with a rubber or silicone spatula.
No traces of dry ingredients should remain.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake as directed below.
Cool completely before serving. Enjoy!
PUMPKIN SPICE BREAD
makes one 4.5 x 8.5-inch loaf
1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
4 ounces applesauce
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (or double if using dried)
Preheat oven to 350F, coat a 9x5-inch metal loaf pan with Baker’s Joy spray, and place oven rack in lower center position.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, applesauce, sugar, and eggs; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, and cinnamon.
Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture and whisk until no dry lumps remain.
Spread batter evenly in prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center (and all the way down to the bottom of the pan) comes out clean.
Remove bread from oven and rest for 10- 15 minutes before unmolding.
Allow bread to cool completely on a rack before slicing.
To make pumpkin puree, preheat oven to 400F. Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out and remove seeds. Place halves, cut side down, on an oiled half sheet pan. Pierce skin with knife in several places. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the outer skin softens and gives under pressure. When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh and use a food processor or blender to puree (you can skip this step if your squash doesn't have a stringy texture).
Freeze leftover pureed pumpkin in 1-cup portions so you can bake a fresh loaf whenever the mood strikes.
This bread freezes beautifully when vacuum sealed or wrapped well in plastic followed by heavy-duty foil, being sure to seal very well. Thaw overnight in the fridge before unwrapping.