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Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Pumpkin Walnut Bread

HURRAH for pumpkins! That is, even fall has a reason to be. So stop complaining, stop being annoyed and repeating that it's raining outside, that, oh bummer, you need to start wearing socks again, that your suntan has faded, that the next trip to Greece is over 10 months away, and that it gets dark too soon.
Go to any farmers' market, buy a ripe pumpkin, nice and sweet, and make peace with the world. Everything will turn a different color (something like orange, maybe?): cold weather becomes the excuse to turn on the oven, socks and UGGs are way more comfortable than little sandals and thongs, who needs a suntan when I'm so beautiful the way I am, how nice is the feeling of Christmas getting closer, along with chestnuts and panettone...

Now let me ask you: do you think you'll get the same effects with canned pumpkin?
Since by now I'm much more familiar with you, I can confess that these Pumpkin Breads - popular in the United States all year round, but definitely inflated between October and Christmas - are made with canned pumpkin puree, which is commonly sold in every supermarket. Nobody here will ever even think of starting from a fresh pumpkin, going through all the trouble of peeling and cooking it, when all you need is a can opener and you get the same result. (Note of the author: this may be obvious to US readers - how many are they by the way? One? Two? - Regardless, I know for sure that canned pumpkin will sound like a heresy to my Italian friends. Therefore the need to apologize and explain. Gosh! These Italians...).
OK, I know, I ruined all the romantic fantasy. May I offer you a slice and make peace with you?

Pumpkin Walnut Bread
for one medium-size loaf pan

sugar 170 gr.
vegetable oil 55 gr.
eggs 2
all-purpose flour 200 gr.
baking soda 1 teaspoon
baking powder 1/4 teaspoon
salt a pinch
fresh grated ginger 1 or 2 teaspoons
ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice to taste
pumpkin puree 260 gr.
grated zest of one orange
water 70 gr.
walnut 110 gr.

Lightly toast the walnuts in the oven, cut them in pieces and keep on the side.
Beat sugar and oil until creamy, add the eggs and mix well. Sift flour with salt, baking soda, baking powder and ground spices. Grdually add it to the egg mixture, alternating with the water. As when making muffins, batter should not be overworked, that way the loaf can have a light texture. Add pumpkin puree (canned, if you have it, otherwise be patient and make the puree from scratch, cook pumkin in the oven until tender, mash it throughly and then, if necessary, cook it in a pan until all moisture is evaporated) and the grated orange zest. At the end, fold in the walnuts.
Pour batter in a buttered and floured loaf pan, bake at 350 for about one hour or more, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
You can keep it in the fridge, wrapped in plastic, for 4 or 5 days.
Vlad said... [Reply to comment]

To my embarrassment I kept eating ingredient for my first cake – yogurt and pistachios being first victims. But FINALLY the day has come when a first baking goodie was about to be appear. The ingredients were replenished, guests were called, and the oven was heated. Needless to say, I will give a full credit to (or hold responsible?) the Daring Baker for whatever is going to happen at the party!

P.S. I hope pumpkin bread doesn't mind...

One Girl In The Kitchen said... [Reply to comment]

So that was the picture you posted on FB? The pumpkin walnut bread?
So funny that you ate all the pistachios..... : )

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