Friday, November 23, 2012

RGPB (Really Good Pumpkin Bread) パンプキンブレッド

Again, this is something my wife made. This recipe came from America's test kitchen. I have to say this is one of the best quick breads I ever tasted. It is moist, flavorful with the crunch of nuts and sweet crumbs on the top. You can eat this any time of the day. It is sweet enough to be even a dessert (at least for us but probably not for most Americans). I asked my wife to take over this post.

This bread consists of two parts: the topping and the bread itself. The secret of this recipe is to cook the pumpkin puree to caramelize slightly and remove the “canned” taste.

Topping: 5 Tbs. packed light brown sugar,1Tbs. all purpose flour, 1Tbs. unsalted butter softened, 1 Tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/8 Tsp. salt. I used my fingers to mix all the ingredients together until the mixture resembled coarse sand.

Bread: 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 1/2 Tsp baking powder, 1/2 Tsp. baking soda, 1 15 oz. can of unsweetened pumpkin puree, 1tsp. salt, 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 ground nutmeg, 1/8 ground cloves, 1cup granulated sugar, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 4 oz. cream cheese cut into pieces, 4 large eggs, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1 cup walnuts toasted and chopped.
I mixed the flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl and set it aside. I combined the pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large sauce pan and cooked continuously until it turned brown and reduced by about half (picture 1 below). I removed the pan from the heat and stirred in the sugars, oil and cream cheese. I mixed it until everything was incorporated and homogeneous. I whisked together the eggs and buttermilk and added it to the pumpkin mixture (picture 2). (This step requires some care not to curdle the eggs so either let the mixture cool down or temper the eggs a bit before adding.)  I poured the cooled pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture to form a batter. I folded the walnuts into the batter. I poured the mixture into two greased loaf pans and sprinkled the topping mixture on top of the loaves. I cooked the loaves in a 350 degree oven for about 45 or 50 minutes or until a skewer came out clean. Just after cooking, this loaf is very tender so I let it rest in the pan for about 20 minutes before I attempted to remove it (picture 3). I waited until it was completely cool before slicing is (picture 4).

This bread is quite good. It is very tender and has lots of flavor. The nuts add a nice counterpoint to the rich soft texture of the bread. The topping adds an additional texture component and a nice sweet crunch. The bread would be really good even without the topping. We will be making this again.

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