Benjamin Franklin has been quoted as saying “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” While I don’t disagree, I think the same can be said for pumpkin bread – well pumpkin anything really, but pumpkin bread in particular. It is especially true this time of year with the air turning cooler and the desire for the rich smells of fall to fill our kitchens with comfort and contentment.
The best pumpkin bread I have ever had is from a family recipe of my good college friend, Kathy. Her mom sent the recipe to me many years ago in a Christmas card and I have made it countless times and given it as a gift to just about everyone I know. The original recipe card was entitled “Aunt Gladys’ Real Good Pumpkin Bread”, circa 1925. “Real good”? A strange and simple sentiment and let me tell you, the understatement of the century!
This ‘Real Good’ pumpkin bread is in fact one of the most amazing, fantastic, over-the-moon delicious quick breads ever. Moist and tender and full of flavor yet incredibly simple to make. You can literally dump all of the ingredients together in a bowl, mix it up and it will turn out great. No sifting, no adding eggs one at a time, no slowly incorporating dry ingredients – this bread is forgiving, just another reason to love it.
Yesterday, I made some to put in a care package I was putting together for a friend who’d just had surgery. Of course, I saved a loaf for the family which was devoured almost instantaneously. By dinner time, Nathan, my five year old, was begging me to make more which I promised him I would do “tomorrow”.
This morning, my eyes barely open while waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, my sweet baby boy comes tromping into the kitchen, blanket dragging behind him. Normally I get a big hug and a precious “good morning mommy”. This morning, however, the first words out of his mouth were “mommy, you mayka dat pun-kin bread for me now?” He woke up thinking about pumpkin bread. This is just further confirmation that he is without a doubt, my son.
How could I say no to that? So Nathan and I did ‘mayka dat pun-kin bread’, together.
Would you like the recipe? Oh, good ’cause we’d love to share!
“Real Good Pumpkin Bread”
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 – 16 oz. can of plain pumpkin puree
- 1 cup chopped walnut halves (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three loaf pans (or spray them with “baking” spray). Mix dry ingredients together (I dump them all in the bowl of my stand mixer and then mix them together for about 30 seconds – start slowly or you’ll have a messy cloud of dry ingredients hanging over your kitchen). Add oil, eggs, water, pumpkin and nuts and mix until ingredients are just combined.
Divide batter evenly between the three 4″x8″ loaf pans and bake for one hour (or 45 minutes for six small loaves). In my oven, 3 loaves bake up perfectly in about 55 minutes so be sure and check for doneness before the hour point as you don’t want to over bake. Also, I never put the nuts in. I like nuts but my husband and kids don’t and in this case, I have to agree that the bread is better without them.
I know one five year old who can hardly wait for it to cool off!
I hope you and yours enjoy this recipe as much as me and mine do. Be sure to leave a reply and tell me how it turned out for you – I’d love to know. Enjoy!