Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Holiday Pumpkin Bread in Theory and Practice

I could have just Googled a pumpkin bread recipe. I'm sure there are hundreds of excellent ones, tested and retested, right there for the taking. But I didn't, because I had something better, a theory. Theoretically speaking, there is nothing better than a good theory.

My theory was that if I took my banana bread recipe, which is one of my absolute favorites, and used pumpkin puree in place of the mashed, ripe bananas, I would have an equally impressive loaf.

So, what were the results of this grand pumpkin bread experiment? A very decent loaf of quick bread, which would make a handsome addition to any holiday dessert table! Having said that, next time I make it, I will be tweaking some things.

This was very good, but didn't have the I-can't-stop-eating-this-ness of the banana bread recipe. Considering the obvious fact that bananas and pumpkins are not the same thing, I will adjust the sweetness and fat content a bit to compensate.

Anyway, stay tuned for future updates, and if you happen to make any variations on this, I'd love to hear about it! Thanks, and enjoy!




Pumpkin Bread Recipe Ingredients:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, soft
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Mixed in a bowl:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup chopped roasted walnuts
Bake at 325 degrees F. for about 1 hour

33 comments:

FaylinaMeir said...

I got the amount from the video but you forgot to mention pumpkin on the ingredient list. just an FYI

I'm off to make this right now, thanks chef!

Chef John said...

oops! fixed, thanks!

Food Junkie said...

Ha ha, love it. Pumpkinless pumpkin bread. Sounds quite tasty.

Chris K. said...

I like your incorporation of Chinese 5-Spice powder, instead of the traditional nutmeg/clove/ginger. I'm totally stealing that idea.

Instead of butter I use 1/2 cup oil plus 1/3 cup water, plus 50% more sugar. When combined, the batter seems kind of loose, but yields a nice loaf that isn't overly moist or sticky.

You may want to try reducing or omitting the baking powder altogether, and adjusting the baking soda accordingly. Baking powder sometimes makes quickbreads too acidic, which can affect flavor and texture... just a thought.

Steffen P said...

This looks very good.

I bake my banana bread with mascarpone - which is awesome.

Rita said...

5-spice in a pumpkin bread? interesting... and a must try!

Curvy Petite said...

I am trying this out right now! I left my butter in the microwave too long so my dough was a little on the liquidy side but it seems to be okay. I can't wait to take a bite out of it! Thanks for the recipe and continue to do what you do!

Sarah said...

Out of curiosity, Chef John, what alterations would you make to this recipe? Would substituting half shortening in place of half the butter add enough of a fat content to get that richness of banana bread, do you think?

Chef John said...

sorry, not sure! Don't think that would make it more rich, as I find butter richer than shortening.

tucker's mama said...

i made this yesterday. used 1/2 butter and 1/2 apple sauce... a great sub for butter/oil; used brown sugar instead of white. this makes a huge loaf. cooked for 70 mins but could have used 75... was a bit underdone... but still very yummy, thanks!

Andrew Littler said...

I tried this earlier today (sans walnut) and it tastes great but the middle third of the loaf does not want to bake. I have been baking it over and over and it still does not bake through.

Alas :(

Chef John said...

Not sure i understand. Leave it in until it's cooked. If the skewer doesn't come out clean, don't take it out.

Dinetonite said...

Delicious Buns! Thanks for the sweet treat.

andrewuaic said...

no 2 table spoons of milk ?

Anonymous said...

This looks yummy buy no pumpkins here..I couldn't find the banana bread recipe?

Anonymous said...

Sry, I meant banana bread recipe video!

Chef John said...

There was no video for that one, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Can i replace the pumpkin with bananas?

Chef John said...

Yes!

Anonymous said...

Can you substitute pumpkin puree with canned pumpkin pie filling?

Chef John said...

You can, but it will taste differently than mine, and I have no idea how exactly.

Anonymous said...

One can of pumpkin puree is listed in the ingredients!

pc said...

Any changes or updates to the recipe? It was mentioned in the video that you might have a few changes that will make you want to eat the entire loaf in one sitting.

delden said...

The pumpkin bread recipe link on All Recipes links to some recipe that uses yeast?! Error?

Unknown said...

The video recipe and the pumpkin bread recipe linked on all recipes are different; the recipe has yeast in it? There was no mention of yeast in the video.....

Chef John said...

There are 2 pumpkin bread recipes, and they must of linked to the wrong one. Here is the other one: http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2008/11/holiday-pumpkin-bread-you-want-it-but.html

Capri Primerano said...

I am giving this a try today! I have Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada and I think this will be a great treat for it! And I have 2 banana breads in the oven as I type! Smells freaken awesome in here!

Anonymous said...

Based on your comment that it wasn't quite sweet enough, I tried subbing a ripe banana for half the pumpkin puree, but keeping everything else the same (kind of a hybrid banana/pumpkin bread). The result was good, but still not as sweet as it maybe should be. Next time I think I'll try adding another 1/2 C brown sugar to the hybrid version, or maybe sub all bs for reg sugar in the original recipe and see if the extra sweetness of the bs makes the difference. All in all, though, very good bread!

Angie said...

Hello!

Can iI replace sugar with honey fro this recipe?

thnx chef J.

Angie said...

Can I replace the sugar with honey for this recipe? will it make it harder for it to come together?

Thnc Chef J!

Chef John said...

Sorry, but not sure! That would be a lot if honey.

Nathanial Krueger said...

I noticed you omitted the dark chocolate chips and then remarked that the bananas are sweeter richer than the pumpkin. Might these two things be related?

Amber said...

I made this last night and it turned out pretty well. I didn't have Chinese 5 Spice or Allspice, so I replaced both of those with the same amount of Pumpkin Pie Spice. Also did dark chocolate chips instead of walnuts. It turned out pretty well - very moist, but next time I think I will double the cinnamon since it doesn't stand out to me. I also spread this out between 2 smaller loaf pans (not the minis) rather than my one large loaf pan.