Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

The first time I tried this recipe, I overcooked it. It was dry and didn’t have the flavor I was hoping for. But there was just something about it that made me try it again. I bumped up the spices, cut way back on the sugar, and made sure there were plenty of walnuts. The second loaf had the perfect spicy, not-too-sweet holiday flavor I was hoping for. I’ve doubled the recipe, so I don’t have to waste half a can of pumpkin puree. This recipe makes two loaves. Eat one now. Freeze one for later.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread
adapted from Bon Appetit (which got the recipe from Cindy Mushet’s The Art and Soul of Baking)


- 4 cups unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temp
- 2/3 cup water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 can (16 oz) canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup neutral flavored vegetable oil (canola)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 generous cups chopped toasted walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position oven rack in the center.

2. Lightly coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with melted butter or high heat canola oil spray and line it with a piece of parchment paper that extends 1 inch beyond the edge of both sides of the pan (I didn’t do the parchment paper, but I’ll throw it out there for anyone who wants to).

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and salt until thoroughly blended.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Add the sugar and blend well. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix well.

5. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

6. Add the walnuts and stir until they are evenly distributed.

7. Use a spatula to scrape the batter into prepared loaf pan and level the top.

8. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the bread is firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

9. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

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