Pumpkin bread is a type of quick bread that's popular in the United States in October and November when fresh pumpkins are in season. There are countless variations.
Although pumpkin bread and other pumpkin recipes are closely associated with American cuisine, these foods have a lengthy pre-Columbian history in North America. Many Native Americans tribes developed their own pumpkin-based recipes prior to the arrival of European settlers in the New World. Native tribes taught those settlers how to dry pumpkin flesh and grind it into a meal for cooking.
Pumpkin based foods are so old in North America that archaeologists have found pumpkin remnants among the 800-year-old ruins of the Anasazi in the southwestern United States.
Below is a pumpkin bread recipe that's very easy as long as you use canned pumpkin. You can use fresh pumpkin, if you prefer, but you'll have to put a lot of work into cutting, boiling, peeling and mashing.
An easy way to cook "sugar pumpkins" is to preheat oven to 350°, wash the exterior of the pumpkin, slice the pumpkin in half from stem to base, scrape the filling out, rinse the interior with cool water, place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet or glass pan (like a dome - skin side up) and bake for approximately one hour or until the outside of the pumpkin dents easily to the touch (use an oven mitt). Remove the pumpkin from the oven. When cooled, flip both halves over and scoop out the pumpkin pulp. The fresh pumpkin is ready for use. I find using fresh pumpkin makes the bread more airy rather than dense.
- 3½ cups (840 ml) flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- 3 cups (720 ml) sugar
- ¾ cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cups (160 ml) water
- 2 cans pumpkin or 30 ounces (850 grams) mashed pumpkin
Note: Use low-calorie sweetener instead of sugar and egg whites instead of eggs to reduce this dish's calorie and cholesterol content.
- Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
- Sift dry ingredients together.
- Mix pumpkin, water, oil, and eggs together in another bowl. Pour into dry mixture and mix well.
- Pour into 2 greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out clean. Cool before removing from pans.