Monday, 7 October 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Photography has been part of my life, all my life! As long as I can remember, my father carried around a camera and before him my grandmother. My father talks about his mother lining them up as children and taking a family snap with her Brownie or as he calls it a Box Brownie. We still have some of those photographs at home, it seemed strange to me as a child seeing my father side by side with his siblings, not to mention seeing my uncles and aunt as children!

When I was about twelve or so, my father joined our local camera club at home, he wanted to improve his knowledge, learn from the other more experienced members. To this day he still talks about how much he learned, his understanding of the basics improved dramatically, this of course was all before the digital age, it was only when you collected the prints from the chemist that you could inspect your work. There were some disappointments of course, but many triumphs too. I remember our fridge being full of  B&W films stacked neatly in their boxes beside the milk and eggs, how it all has changed. 
With fond memories of competitions, meetings and outings I decided that I would joint my own local Camera Club. I really need to learn the basics! How better to get it, than to join like minded people who all have vastly more experience that me, so perhaps over then next couple of months, you'll see an improvement in my photography :)

With Autumn gradually making it's presence felt around these parts, I thought some Pumpkin bread was in order, this recipe makes two beautiful loaves (one of which you can freeze) that goes perfectly with butter or if you prefer, drizzled with glacé icing. Perhaps I should bake this pumpkin bread for the club next meeting? 

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook 

Makes 2 Loaves

777g Plain flour
2 tsp Baking powder
2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2½ tsp Ground cinnamon
½ tsp Freshly ground nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground allspice
¼ tsp Salt
425g Pumpkin, peeled, cooked and mashed or a 425g Can of Libby's Solid Pack Pumpkin
200g Granulated sugar
150g Dark brown sugar
4 Eggs
50ml Vegetable oil
400ml Butermilk

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4, grease or line two 2lbs loaf tins.

Place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt into a large bowl. Mix together with a whisk or a wooden spoon. I like to use fresh nutmeg, I find it keeps for much longer and it actually has an aroma and a taste, rather than the jars of ready ground.

Place the two sugars and the pumpkin into a stand mixer, mix on high until combined.

Add the eggs and oil, mix again until the batter is thoroughly combined and smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down with spatula, turn the mixer on again this time on low.

Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating batches starting and ending with flour. Mix slowly until just combined. Don't over do the mixing here or your bread will be tough and chewy!

Scrape the sides and bottom down again and give one more gently mix.

Divide between the two prepared loaf tins, bake in the centre of the oven for 50-60 minutes.

I like to use my cake tester (basically a very thin skewer) to test if the bread is baked, insert a skewer or cake tester into the centre of the cakes, it should come out clean. If not pop it back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes. 

I like mine spread with real butter with a mug of coffee first thing in the morning. 

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