Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On a whim

I came home the other day with the intent on making a simple dinner - Quiche for the "Boy", Spaghetti with left over slow cooked sauce made from last years ample supply of canned garden tomatoes along with a loaf of Roasted Garlic Artisan Bread. Simple, easy, fast - right ? or so I thought...

Pie Crust
Bread Starter
Sauce Defrosted
Sugar & Walnut Crusted Pumpkin Bread - wait where did you come from?

It happens all too often- I am looking forward to dessert even before dinner has the chance to begin. I start to peruse my cookbooks, recipes that I have hoarded but yet to try and nothing is shouting "pick me, pick me". Then I remember the last can of Pumpkin, long forgotten, pushed to the back of the baking pantry. I start to get a soft spot for that last can of fall goodness, so on a whim I decided to whip up a pan of this simple pumpkin bread.

Combining my favorite "go to" pumpkin bread recipe from Joy the Baker and my Dad's other half (Deb's) Sour Cream Coffee Cake Topping came to be my Sugar and Walnut Crusted Pumpkin Bread.

The aroma- cinnamon, pumpkin, brown sugar makes you feel all warm and cozy inside. I always make sure to take a moment and appreciate the delicious smells wandering throughout my cozy little home while the bread bakes. You will want to bake this bread time and time again just to fill your home with this very smell. 

A crust that is perfectly formed from the cinnamon, sugar and walnuts is a nice contrast to the soft chewy center. I added a layer of the sugar mixture in between the the batter for a bit of extra goodness.

A slathering of cream cheese and a cup of tea is a sure-fire win, great for a grab and go breakfast or when you just want a little something sweet.

Sugar & Walnut Crusted Pumpkin Bread
adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes 1 Loaf

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour ( or whole wheat flour… or just use only all-purpose flour)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 /2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup applesauce

Sugar Mix
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place a rack in the center of the oven.  Grease and flour loaf pan (mine are 8×4x2) and set aside. 

In a small bowl, combine walnuts, sugars, salt & cinnamon and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.  
In a medium bowl, carefully whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup and water.  
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold all of the ingredients together.  Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well, finding any stray flour bits to mix in.  

Place half the dough in the pan. Sprinkle with half the sugar mix, top with remaining dough and the last of the sugar mix.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven.  Let rest in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a plate, this part is a bit messy with the sugar mixture but most stays intact.

Print this recipe!



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