The process actually began in November. I had several big pumpkins for fall decorations and I couldn't bring myself to throw them away especially given the current economic times. I would've kept the pumpkins out as decorations but I decided it would look funny to have pumpkins mixed in with the snowman display on my hearth.
So after Thanksgiving, I cut the pumpkins into big chunks and roasted them on a baking sheet until the meaty part was soft and the outside just peeled off. Then I pureed the pieces in the blender and added spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger) and sweetened the pumpkin to taste. I froze most of the pumpkin mixture but kept enough for a couple of batches of bread. Now that the busy Holiday season is over, I actually had time to make the bread.
I created my whole wheat pumpkin bread recipe by adapting the Nestle Spiced Pumpkin Nut Bread recipe. The original recipe calls for a can of pumpkin and 4 cups of all-purpose flour. I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour (that I ground in my grain mill from hard red spring wheat) and 2 cups of all-purpose. I also used 2 cups of pumpkin that I had roasted and pureed. I must say that I really like the end result. My taste tester liked it as well.
Spiced Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread
Makes: 2 loaves
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (I used freshly milled whole wheat flour)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pumpkin roasted, pureed and spiced (or 1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin)*
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup apple juice
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped nuts, divided (optional)
Note: I use roasted pumpkin puree and added additional spices to the roasted pumpkin mixture before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients to give it a burst of flavor. I've tried making the bread without adding additional spices and sugar to the roasted pumpkin mixture and just using the spices called for in the recipe but the bread tasted rather flat. It didn't taste bad, but it wasn't great.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Sift flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Combine pumpkin, sugar, juice, eggs, oil and vanilla extract in large bowl; stir well. Stir in flour mixture and 3/4 cup nuts just until moistened. (I left the nuts out this time since this was a test. I didn't want to waste them if the bread didn't turn out good.)
Spoon into prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle remaining nuts over top of loaves. Eventhough I omitted the nuts, it still tasted really good.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
I was very pleased with the results. Next time, I'll probably add even more spices to give it more flavor, but I liked this version.