Every fall I love to make pumpkin bread. Some years I even use fresh pumpkin, but usually I find a can of organic pumpkin at Trader Joe’s, as I did this year.
Below you’ll find the recipe that I have been making on and off for over 45 years. This is one of my Aunt Ruth’s recipes. Her daughter, my cousin Elaine, and I were the same age so I was over at their house a lot growing up. We did all kinds of things, but my favorite place to be was in the kitchen.
One November, Aunt Ruth invited me over to help make her famous pumpkin bread. She had made us some and I liked it so much, she had me over so I could learn to make it myself.
I remember chopping the dates and stirring everything together in a very large bowl. She usually made a double recipe! And she always baked it in 1 pound coffee cans which she would save up just for this occasion. There was something magical about having a round loaf of pumpkin bread to take home at the end of the day’s efforts.
Updating the recipe
More recently, I have updated her traditional recipe, which had white flour and vegetable oil. I use organic ingredients as much as possible, sprouted spelt flour instead of white, and butter or a combination of butter and applesauce instead of the oil.
It’s really quite simple to make. It is a no-fuss recipe if there ever was one. It freezes well and makes wonderful gifts. I love it for breakfast, snacks or with a meal. I often make a double batch because it goes so fast. It is nice in the toaster the next day. My daughter likes it grilled in butter.
So, here’s to Aunt Ruth and those Saturday afternoons waiting impatiently until the timer went off and we could sink our teeth into a piece of warm pumpkin bread barely out of the oven.
I have tried many pumpkin breads over the years and this is still my favorite by far.
Organic Pumpkin Bread with Sprouted Spelt Flour
3 1/2 cups organic sprouted spelt flour
3 cups organic sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup butter, melted (I sometimes use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup organic applesauce)
1 15 or 16 oz. can of organic pumpkin (about 1 3/4 cups if you use your own cooked pumpkin)
2/3 cup water
1 cup ground nuts (I prefer pecans)
1 cup chopped dates
Preheat oven to 350˚F
Butter and flour 4 one lb. loaf pans. Or you can use coffee cans like Aunt Ruth.
Place all dry ingredients in a very large mixing bowl, especially if you’re making a double recipe, and combine well. Chop the nuts and dates and set aside. I use a food processor to chop the dates. I cut the pits out then cut them in chunks (see photo below). Put the dates in the food processor with two tablespoons of the flour mixture to keep the gooey pieces from sticking to one another. Process until they are the desired size. I like the nuts and dates finely chopped. Aunt Ruth always preferred big chunks of both.
Add the eggs, butter and water. Mix well until just combined. Stir in nuts and dates. I do not use an electric mixer for this recipe. Aunt Ruth swore it tasted better when it was mixed by hand. I have never defied her edict.
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour (sometimes a little longer) or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for a few minutes in the pan. Remove and let the loaves cool on a cooling rack.
Enjoy nice and warm. Let me know what you think.
Here are some photos of the process:
If you give this a try, let me know what you think.
Happy baking,James Early Organic Gardening 365 Getting more out of your garden all year long
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