Call it squash seduction. Call it the autumnal chill. I don't know what you want to call it, but the pumpkins in the farmers' market have been calling to me.
Of course, I've been too lazy (or maybe just too busy) as of late to turn one of those tempting gourds into a pie.
Luckily, I'm told that few palates can actually discern the difference between fresh-made pumpkin puree and the pumpkin puree that's conveniently canned.
With that thought in mind, I whipped up a pumpkin spice bread for brekkie. I wanted something a bit lower in sugar and higher in whole grain flour than a lot of recipes I've seen. I also wanted to experiment in baking with the ginger liqueur I mentioned last week.
This little loaf fit the bill and was quite nice both sliced and slathered with cream cheese and also toasted and kissed with butter.
Pumpkin-Spice Breakfast Bread — Makes One Loaf
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus a bit of butter for the pan
8 oz (1 cup) pumpkin puree (cans are typically 16 oz)
1 Tbsp ginger liqueur (optional)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for the pan
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour one 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch (6-cup) loaf pan, and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, blend the sugar, pumpkin, melted butter and eggs.
3. In a different bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.
4. Add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined.
5. Pour the batter into the greased pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
6. Let the loaf cool 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest overnight. Slice and eat the next morning — toasted, if you like.