There are a few places to turn to for a reliable recipe.
Number one, your mother’s recipe box. As long as the recipe card looks like it’s been run over by my dad’s work van a few dozen times, tapped back together, and is heavily coated with either butter, chocolate, or another delicious ingredient, then it’s probably a keeper.
And then there’s number three. Food websites like epicurious and allrecipes that use a reader/recipe tested rating system. If a recipe you search for receives anything less than 3 and a half (out of 4) stars, and was tested by a considerable number of people, then you know it’s probably no good. In this case, your best bet would be to check for a recipe from one of the sources above. But, on the other hand, a recipe receives four fat stars and more people than you personally know have rated it, don’t question it, use that recipe.
This October beauty received a 4 star rating. Impressive in it’s own right. But then consider that it’s been reviewed by 878 other pumpkin bread lovers and you know that it’s idiot proof, picky-person proof, and recipe-substituter proof. Recipe substituters? They’re the people who get their kicks adapting a decent recipe made with normal things like eggs and sugar and all-purpose flour to their lazy/health-obsessed taste. Which means, that if you scan the recipe reviews long enough, you’ll find out if something turned out somewhat edible by making it with egg beaters, Splenda, and spelt flour.
Pumpkin bread needs no introduction. It’s October baked up in a 9 x 5 bread pan. With all the usual fall-spiced culprits (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves), this one’s got everything you’re craving this time of year, plus you know it’s going to be good with all that sugar, oil, and a whole can of pumpkin. It’s delicate in texture, but super robust in taste. My kind of bread. Of course, to be honest with ourselves, this really isn’t a “bread”. Last time I checked, bread doesn’t have as much sugar as it has flour. But heck, this is America, this is the first day of October, and this is pumpkin season.
4 Star Pumpkin (Quick) Bread
Recipe taken directly from epicurious.com (originally from Bon Appetit, Nov.95)
*Makes two large loaves
3 cups (600 g) sugar
1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 16-ounce (450 g) can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups (420 g) All Purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (120 g) coarsely chopped walnuts (optional- I left them out)
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pans.
- Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin.
- Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.
- Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely. Slather with butter, or my personal (weird) favorite, geitost.