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pumpkin ginger bread

(recipe, Sarah Gilbert)


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Introduction

Pumpkin bread has always been Everett's favorite coffee shop treat, and for some reason-- probably fear of failure -- I put off making my own version. Until this day in November, when I was clearing out my freezer to make room for half a lamb. There was a pint of pureed pumpkin I'd made from our first Sugar Pie harvest of the season. I put the pumpkin in the sink to thaw and started in, with lots of tremulity and recipe tinkering. We took the loaves out of the oven together and Everett got first bite. "Faint!" said he: from goodness. He had three slices. I used the Grand Central Bakery recipe as a starting point, so I've copied the concept of pumpkin pie spice, made in quantity ahead, but added in the fresh ginger -- lots of middle-of-the-palate spiciness, but not too much heat for a little guy.

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups white flour
  2. 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  3. ½ cup brown rice flour
  4. 1 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1 tsp. salt
  6. 2 tsp. pumpkin-pie spice (in mortar & pestle, mix four parts cinnamon stick and two parts each cloves, allspice berries, and grated nutmeg; grind until powdered)
  7. 2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced and smushed in mortar & pestle
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla
  9. ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  10. 1 pt. (2 cups) pureed pumpkin
  11. 1 cup honey
  12. 4 eggs
  13. ½ cup buttermilk (or a combination of ¼ cup creme fraiche and ⅓ cup milk, or ½ cup plain yogurt)

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour two loaf pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice. Mix.
  3. In a large bowl, mix honey, melted butter, and pumpkin, ginger and vanilla until well-combined.
  4. Add the eggs, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Alternating wet and dry, add the flour about a third at a time, and the buttermilk about ½ at a time, mixing carefully and well after each addition.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  7. Bake about an hour, until the tops are browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.