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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

PUMPKIN BREAD (from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)

MAKES TWO 8'12-BY-4'/2-INCH LOAVES OR SIX 6-BY-2'/4-INCH MINILOAVES. If you use miniloaf pans, reduce the baking time to forty-five minutes. This bread is delightful as soon as it cools, but it's even better the next day, when the [lauors have had a chance to develop.

Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups buttermilk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans with butter; set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt; set mixture aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the pumpkin puree and both sugars; mix on medium speed until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs and oil; mix until incorporated, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. With mixer on low, add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour, until just combined. Gently stir in chocolate chips, if using.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans; smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Place the pans on a baking sheet. Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and cool completely. Bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, for up to 4 days.

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