The Great Pumpkin….Bread!

Growing up my mom cooked plenty, but baking was more of a special occasion or holiday thing. When I think of Mama’s baking, banana bread comes to mind. My grandmother I associate with melt in your mouth oatmeal raisin cookies.

My freshman year of college my grandmother very sweetly sent me “care packages” around each of the holidays that I stayed at school. At Thanksgiving I got a tin of cookies and a pretty loaf tin all wrapped up in holiday-themed cellophane. Inside was the most scrumptious bread, pumpkin bread, I had ever had. I mourned when the tiny tin was empty. I rang my grandmother to find out where she had bought the delicious bread.

Yes, you guessed it. She made it. How had I lived eighteen years and not tasted this? I suspect, that much like me, she made the loaves, intending to share, but ended up eating them. I don’t blame her in the least.

A number of years later when I had my own kitchen and a hankering for pumpkin bread I called her and got the recipe. Much like her oatmeal cookie recipe, mine turned out great, but there was just some little secret technique or ingredient that made hers better.

Then came the sad day for both of us when we discovered gluten hated us. She tried substituting aย  standard store-bought mix and it came out mushy. I tried once and it wasn’t quite that bad, but it wasn’t really a success either.

I’ve had visions of pumpkin bread dancing through my head since October began. I tried a muffin recipe from the internet and it turned out well, but lacked the decadent quality I longed for. (Disclosure: This is not by any means a “healthy” bread. It is sinfully good though. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

So, yesterday I decided to conduct another experiment. After baking gluten free for nearly two years, I’ve gotten a feel for the kind of ratios I need.

Here’s the original recipe:

  • 3c sugar
  • 1c oil
  • 1 can pumpkin (reg size)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3c flour
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2/3c raisins
  • 2/3c pecans

Here’s the Gluten Free recipe:

  • 1.5c sugar
  • 1.5 c brown sugar
  • 1c oil
  • 1 can pumpkin (reg size)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3c flour (1c brown rice, 1/2c sorghum, 1/2c coconut flour, 1/2c tapioca flour, 1/2c arrowroot)
  • 2tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp xanthum gum
  • 2/3c raisins
  • 2/3c pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F

Cream sugar, oil, and eggs until fluffy. Add pumpkin and mix. Mix all dry ingredients except for the xanthum gum separately (I cheated and didn’t sift as the recipe originally called for) and then add to the liquid ingredients using a mixer. I then added the xanthum gum once everything was well blended, as the xanthum tends to make the batter climb the mixer as it thickens. Fold in the raisins and nuts with a spoon or spatula. Divide batter into three greased small loaf pans. I used the disposable aluminum kind.

My oven runs a bit hot, so I set mine to 325 F. I baked them for 55 minutes and then tested with a wooden skewer. One came out dry at an hour. The other two were still quite wet, so I bumped the temperature up to 350. About 10-15 min later the other two loaves were also done. My oven can easily burn the bottom of baked goods, which is why I checked frequently at the end of cooking.

It was a third gone before the other two were even done.

The result was moist and held together quite well, just like the original recipe. The only alteration I might suggest is going with 1/2 tsp of clove. It wasn’t as obvious after sitting over night, but fresh out of the oven the clove was quite prominent, but not overwhelming.

I think I’ll spend the rest of the month working off the calories. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy eating!





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