This recipe came from the October 2008 issue of Gourmet magazine, in a segment about a new cookbook called The Art and Soul of Baking. The book came highly recommended, though I need another baking book like a hole in the head! This recipe was simple to put together and used the regular pantry items I always have on hand. I didn't have any walnuts, though, so I used some pecan pieces instead.
Pumpkin Walnut Bread, from The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet (adapted slightly by me)
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup neutral-flavoured vegetable oil (I used safflower)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (I used pecans, as mentioned; I could have used my hazelnuts, but I'm hoarding them)
1. Preheat oven to 350F and position rack in the centre. Prepare a 9x5" loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, soda, salt, and spices until thoroughly blended.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and water. Add sugar and blend well. Add the pumpkin, oil, and vanilla and blend well.
4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Add the walnuts and stir to evenly distribute them. Scrape batter into prepared pan and level the top.
5. Bake for 55 - 65 minutes, or until the bread is firm to the touch and a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Wrap leftovers well.
And voila! As easy as sin, and man did the batter ever taste yummy and was it ever silky on the tongue! The aroma of the baking loaf spoke of fall and autumnal baking and all that good stuff. The end product itself...It looked gorgeous. The texture couldn't be beaten - moist and delicious. The bread had too much sugar in it, I think, and the sweetness overpowered the spices and the pumpkin flavour. So, if I make this again (which I might!), I'll tweak the sugar amount back to 1 cup. Nothing insurmountable there.