Pumpkin bread is one of my favorites. I love pumpkin any way you can make it; it is tasty, healthy and versatile.
The other day I went to the farm market and saw a beautiful stand with good, ripe pumpkins. This vegetable’s season is almost over, so I could not miss an opportunity to make pumpkin bread before it would be too late. My kids love it; when I make it, they cannot wait to snack on a warm and freshly baked slice – Yum!
I substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, which is richer in fiber and nutrients. Fiber has a lot of health benefits, including contributing to healthy weight loss, and pumpkin itself has very few calories. The type of pumpkin is very important, and I suggest a dry one like zucca di Mantova or butternut squash.
Enjoy and don’t feel guilty!
PANE DOLCE ALLA ZUCCA (PUMPKIN BREAD)
110 g (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted
200 g (1 cup) granulated white sugar
2 medium eggs
60 ml (¼ cup) milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch of nutmeg
340 g (12 oz) cooked pumpkin (about 700 g, 25 oz uncooked one)
300 g (2 heaped cups) whole wheat flour
60 g (1/3 cup) corn flour
15 g (1 tablespoon) baking powder
1 pinch of sea salt
100 g (3.5 oz) chopped nuts (optional, to add in the batter at the end)
1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350°F) and set oven rack to the middle position. Wet and wring out some parchment paper and line a 20 x 10 cm (8 x 5-inch) loaf pan, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling
2. In a large bowl whisk the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until pale yellow. Mix the butter in gently with a spoon until completely combined and the mixture is smooth
3. Whisk the milk cinnamon and nutmeg into the batter
4. Mash the cooked pumpkin with a fork and add to the batter
5. Add the flours, baking powder, and salt. Switch to using a spatula and gently stir until the ingredients are just barely combined and no more dry flour is visible. Don’t over-mix!
6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the top of the cake is caramelized dark brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean
7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire cooling rack; this helps the loaf solidify and makes it easier to remove from the pan
8. Grasping the parchment paper sling, lift the loaf out of the pan and place on the on the cooling rack. Cool for another 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with some powdered sugar on top. – Paola