Friday, November 7, 2008

Super secret pumpkin bread recipe

I have always dreamed of hosting big family holiday dinners. Unfortunately my in-laws already have trenched in family traditions (that nearly everyone complains about, but no one changes) and I have a small house, and small family. (though you know, we're working on that, my brother is getting married next year) That doesn't mean that I don't aspire to cook legend worthy meals when I get the chance. Last year it was a beef roulade stuffed with blue cheese and walnuts. Seriously spectacular, if I do say so myself.

For the firmly entrenched family plans at the in-laws I bring one small dish, and all the good ones are taken. You are also required to make the same thing, every year, made exactly the same way. The year I tried to branch out and make a really awesome Brussels sprout dish, the only one who really got into was A's cousin's English husband. While I adore him, I'm not so sure about having my food compared to beloved English food. The track record over there, not so good.

So, my one dish is my pumpkin bread. It is based on the pumpkin bread recipe from the Joy of Cooking. Here are my changes/additions. I'm not going to print the entire recipe here for fear of copyright infringement. I'm sure you can find the cookbook at the library for the details, or you know, contact me.

Replace the 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour with 3/4 c. whole wheat flour (I like a pastry flour, but any is fine) and 3/4 c. all purpose flour

Replace all of the spices with 1/2 to 1 T Chinese Five Spice (I get my from Penzey's who has a number of local stores, and does catalog and internet) powder and a small amount of fresh grated nutmeg. This is the secret part that no one ever figures out. Unless of course they are familiar with 5 spice. Which not nearly so many are in the Midwest.

Reduce the amount of sugar (using the brown sugar variation) to 1/2 cup (that makes it 1/2c packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar) And seriously, use cane sugar. The stuff made from beets just isn't the same.

Unless you like lots of work, use canned pumpkin. I use the big can, and make a double batch. (have to have some to save for home) Watch your cans or you'll end up with the presweetened, preseasoned pumpkin puree. You want the pure stuff which usually is actually sqaush, not pumpkin

To butter/flour the pan use Baker's Joy. That stuff is amazing, and I'm only sorry I didn't discover it until it was in a basket I won at a work event.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Butterball. I consider myself a pretty knowledgable cook, but I've actually called their hotline. It so rocks. Raw turkey does not. So pay attention to those thawing instructions and cooking times.

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