October 21, 2013

my friend kendra's pumpkin bread

It has turned cold in the hills of Northwest Arkansas.  Like homecoming-football-game-in-the-freezing-cold-46-degree-blowing-rain kind of cold. And naturally with the holidays and the weather changes, we're all thinking pumpkin. I love pumpkin this time of year, but this tried-and-true go-to recipe for pumpkin bread is one I bake all year long.  My family looooves it. As a matter of fact, I took a big thick slice to my hairdresser who has cut my hair for 14 years, and he said it was the best he's ever eaten. So there's a little endorsement for you from my stylist.

I first had this pumpkin bread when my friend Kendra shared a loaf with me, and I've been committed ever since. So pumpkiny and moist and dense with a little cinnamon and warm nutmeg! She shared the recipe with me from her daddy's old cookbook, and I've never looked at another pumpkin bread recipe again.

Years ago on a different blog, I posted the recipe; but that blog has since been retired. SO many of you have asked to see it again on Euna Mae's. So here it is! If you're new to my friend Kendra's pumpkin bread, then consider yourselves warned....you will love it. You will start stockpiling canned pumpkin in your pantries and kitchens. And you will make it a lot. We even wear ourselves out on it, take a break, then bring it back in full force til we wear ourselves out on it again. It's that good. 

A little note real quick: this recipe makes two loaves. I split the batter and add a 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips to one loaf for my kids. It's just enough to have a bitty bite of chocolate in each slice. On the second, non-chocolate-chip loaf, I fancy the top of it with real oats before I put it in the oven. You can also add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to your loaves. Whatever you like!

If you're not already following Euna Mae's on Instagram (@EunaMaes), well you should! And if you make something that is Euna Mae inspired, post it and tag it so I can see! I might even show it off in the Euna Mae's feed!  

{makes two loaves}

3 cups all purpose flour
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 & 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup oil
1- 15oz. can cooked pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2/3 cup water

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients together, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar.  Add the wet ingredients and mix well.  Divide into two prepared loaf pans, and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to as long as 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.* Cool 10 minutes in the pans then invert gently and cool completely before cutting.  

I cool my loaves in pans then invert them onto a large wood board lined with a sheet of parchment.  To store the bread, I cover up the whole board and loaves loosely with clear wrap and then I lay a dish towel over that just to keep them from drying out.  I just fold back the dish towel and the clear wrap when I want to slice a piece, then I just cover it back up. This pumpkin bread has the fullest flavor served at room temperature. 

*Folks are experiencing varied bake times to get the center done. Resist the urge to open the oven door before the 55 minute mark or the center may fall. The middle should have baked up, cracked a little, and it should not appear wet inside those cracks. The toothpick test is critical here! Use your instincts, even if the timer goes off!