…on good food, questionable judgment, and making life work
…and it’s far more utilitarian.
I don’t really care for sweets.
People look at me sideways when I confess that. I’m not into chocolate, I don’t go in for sweet coffee drinks, I generally don’t eat cake at birthday parties (gasp!), and I could live without eating pastries ever again. Caveat–I like toffee. And butterscotch. The only candy I thieve from my kids’ Halloween scores are the Butterfingers. Note the pattern–sweet AND salty. But seriously, I’d sooner devour a fried egg sandwich or a bowl of ramen than give a second thought to a truffle.
However, I love baking. I love the smells of sweet pastries as they bake–so much better than a scented candle that winds up giving me a headache. Nothing warms up the house better on a chilly fall morning than making a loaf of pumpkin bread, and somewhere in my hazy logic, I’ve convinced myself that firing up the oven is cheaper and more effective than turning up the thermostat (I’m kinda cheap that way, and I am schooling my children in the toasty miracle of the turtleneck/chunky sweater combo.) And this bread is in itself inexpensive. You probably already have most of the ingredients in the pantry (just stock up on canned pumpkin the next time you’re at the store.) I’ve easily made a dozen loaves so far this fall, and I actually ate a slice (the sacrifices I make for this blog…) and it tastes pretty darn good.
And–AND?? You only need to dirty ONE. BOWL.
One-Bowl Pumpkin Bread
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup (or half of a 15 oz. can) pumpkin puree–not pie filling
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and water. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt–stir well to mix. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to cool on a rack. When it is completely cooled, wrap it in plastic.
I have no idea how long this will keep, as it has never lasted longer than a day and a half in our house. Keep the leftover pumpkin in plasticware in your fridge to use for pumpkin pancakes, or in my case–another autumn spiced, house warming loaf of bread the day after tomorrow.