When life gives you pumpkins … bake bread

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West Coast pumpkin bread

Kids fancy it, grown-ups love it … yellow pumpkin bread is hard to beat. Being quick and easy, industrious West Coast housewives always whipped up a few loaves for Sunday lunch. Although their take on it was sans zings, we’ve added sweet autumn spices to the original recipe.

Ingredients (1 loaf): 500 ml cake flour; ½ teaspoon salt; pinch of bicarb;10 ml baking powder; ½ tsp ground cloves; ½ tsp ground cinnamon; ½ tsp ground nutmeg; 30 ml unsalted, softened butter; 125 ml sugar; 2 large eggs; 250 ml cooked pumpkin, mashed.

Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease loaf pan with butter and dust with flour. Mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk until well combined and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture might look curdled – that’s okay. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until blended. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for ±65 minutes on the middle rack. Insert a cake tester into the centre – it should come out clean. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

The next day, you can toast individual slices for the same crisp, fresh-baked effect. Wrapped in foil, the bread freezes well for up to 3 months.

Photo: andiemitchell.com