Rainy Day Bread

The fact that I haven’t yet posted any dessert-type recipes on here is exceptionally misleading. I love dessert. I love licking the batter off the spoon. I love the smell of whatever it is baking in the oven. I guess I do more cooking  because I feel like it’s harder to mess up. For instance, I made cupcakes from scratch for the first time a few months ago, and I had to throw away the entire first batch. They were a disaster. It took me awhile to get them right. Sometimes you need to be really precise in baking, and do things in a very particular way. I like cooking because you can experiment with different ingredients and flavors, and chances are you won’t mess it up too badly.

One dessert-y thing that I love, and is not too difficult to make, is pumpkin bread. OK, so I don’t know if you can classify something you can eat for breakfast as dessert. (Am I the only one who eats it for breakfast?) But whatever. It is sweet and delicious, (and easier than cupcakes). I had a couple cans of pumpkin in my cabinet, and clearly, fall is the perfect time to be eating pumpkin-flavored things! Last year my friend gave me the most delicious recipe for pumpkin bread made with pumpkin beer, and oh my gosh, it is SO good. I hate the word moist, but this bread is just that. I can’t get enough of it. Perfectly moist (ugh), perfectly flavored, sweet with a little spice, slightly crispy exterior. YUM! Luckily, this recipe makes about 3 loaves, so there is plenty to go around.

This whole week has been cloudy, rainy, and chilly. Perfect for doing a little bit of baking. There’s nothing better on a rainy fall afternoon than cozying up with a blanket and a slice of warm pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Ale Bread
Puree (make first):

15 oz. can pumpkin
2/3 cup sugar
1 12 oz. bottle pumpkin ale (I used Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale)
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Combine all puree ingredients and stir slowly (because the beer makes everything fizz out of control). Set aside until ready to use. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup puree that you made above
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Combine sugar & oil with electric mixer. Slowly add eggs. Stop mixer and add 1 cup of the puree you just made. Turn mixer to low-medium speed and leave it running for 4-5 min. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stop mixer and add dry ingredients. Mix for 1 minute at low speed or until ingredients are mixed & smooth. Pour mixture into 9 x 5 well-greased loaf pan, leaving room to rise. Bake at 350° for about an hour (usually more like 65-70 min.), or until knife comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 min, then out of pan on wire rack. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar, and devour enjoy responsibly.

The puree mix is enough for 3+ loaves, so you will have about 2 cups left over after you make one loaf. If you make all 3 loaves, you will still have about 1/2 cup of the puree left. This was annoying to me, because I didn’t want to just throw it away. So I just estimated the amount I would need to make a little bit more puree to get one more loaf out of it. I added about 1/4 bottle of beer (drink the rest!), 1/4 can of pumpkin, 1/6 cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice. Hurray! One more loaf of this delicious bread! If you are like me and absolutely do not need 4 loaves of mouth-watering, diet-breaking goodness sitting in the kitchen tempting you, keep one and give the rest away to friends. They’ll love it and your waist will love you.