Can you believe it ? That Thanksgiving is tomorrow ?? I most certainly cannot. The closest I've gotten to this seasons holiday spirit is making multiple loaves of this pumpkin walnut bread. Multiple loaves for multiple thank yous I've had piling up. And I'm still not through them all. Thinking now, it's sort of this holiday's spirit twofold. Pumpkins and Thanks : two of my favorite aspects of this month and next.
I hope for everyone traveling today it is safe and painless, and you make it to your loved ones arms in the blink of an eye. And I hope if it's not painless, you don't let it get to you knowing how worth it every step of that journey is (remind me of this when I'm on the turnpike at a standstill). If you haven't left, and you need a last minute hostess gift, or way of saying thanks, this bread couldn't be easier to bake. It has been a staple of my bread making for quite a few years now.
Pumpkin Walnut bread :
2 cups (10 oz) unbleached Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temp
1/3 cup water
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup (9oz) canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup neutral flavored vegetable oil (canola)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (4 oz) chopped toasted walnuts
1. preheat over to 350 degrees and position oven rack in the center. Lightly coat a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan w/melted butter or high heat canola oil spray and line it with a piece of parchment paper that extends 1 inch beyond the edge of both sides of the pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and salt until thoroughly blended. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Add the sugar and blend well. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
2. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add the walnuts and stir until they are evenly distributed. Use a spatula to scrape the batter into prepared loaf pan and level the top.
3. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the bread is firm to the touch. and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. To serve, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices by sawing gently with serrated knife.