Fall Baking, Part II: Pumpkin Walnut, Chocolate Bread

Pumpkin bread, like banana bread, is one of the simplest and least fussy recipes I know. You basically ‘dump’ and mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, place the loaf pan in the oven, and an hour or so later, you’re treated to a delicious smelling kitchen and a rich and spicy piece of heaven. However, when you’re in Jordan (and let’s not forget there’s always a snag or else this blog wouldn’t exist) finding canned pumpkin puree (even during the Thanksgiving season!) is near to impossible.
[Note: I’m sure some random person will comment that they’ve found it at such and such a place, but I’m telling you, I’ve now been to THREE large grocery stores in the area and cannot find it ANYWHERE!]
Lucky for me though (and Raj), I planned ahead in the event something like this were to occur–I packed (way back in April) one 28 ounce can of leftover pumpkin puree. Knowing now that I cannot find canned pumpkin anywhere else, pumpkin pie is off the Thanksgiving menu this year. I need to save the remaining leftover from the can for the next (and sadly) last pumpkin loaf we will eat this fall.
[This recipe is modified from The Art and Soul of Baking, by Cindy Mushet]
Makes 1 loaf
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position rack in the center. Lightly coat a 9-byΒ 5-inch loaf pan with Pam or other oil spray. 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, canola oil, and vanilla extract and blend well.

2. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until blended and smooth. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed. Use a spatula to scrape the batter into the 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 to cool completely.

17 thoughts on “Fall Baking, Part II: Pumpkin Walnut, Chocolate Bread

  1. You don’t need to mess with perfection. The recipe that i use that was handed down from mom is pretty amazing. so many people have used that recipe that they claim it as their own. If you don’t have it I will send you a copy. You can’t mess up mom’s recipe either since countless 6th graders used to make it the day before Thanksgiving before furlough days. Even the kids who didn’t follow directions were rewarded with perfect pumpkin bread. i got a neat pan that has 8 mini loafs on it. It is the perfect size for a mini bread. I got it at the Crate and Barrel outlet over a year ago. One of my best investments. Ask mom to send you canned pumpkin before it disappears around here.

  2. Is today a furlough day? If so, why are you up so early? How many batches does the 8 mini loaf pan require you to make? Do you run a pumpkin loaf factory or do you teach kids? I’ll have mom pack some pumpkin for the next shipment.

    1. i get about 24 mini loaves. I went to Lake arrowhead with dad today. Mom was golfing. we had a date. we found our dream cabin. He made an offer- it’s a short sale. We’ll see. So were you keeping the chateau a secret from me. Tobie, I’m sooo sad. Of course we need to go before you know who gets out of school 😦

      1. 24 mini loaves? That’s 12 batches! That’s a factory. You should sell loaves during intermission at the puppet shows.
        You scooped me on the Arrowhead property. I didn’t know. You can come to the chateau if you’d like. We’ll be going to Paris to see Gentry de Paris. Mom will love the show. Don’t worry, I’ll bring you a souvenir. I’m not sure who ‘you know who’ is so enlighten me so I know what our time frame is.

    1. Hi, Dave. That’s a great idea. I’ll Raj get right on building the raised beds. Where was the final engagement sight and where’s the wedding going to be? Coronado? La Jolla?

      1. Well, the final engagement sight was over at la jolla shores. It was very well done and she had no idea. Tears were def shed… Happy ones! She said yes. We have no idea as to where the wedding will take place just yet. Still figuring that one out. πŸ™‚

  3. Dave, you are rockin the new profile picture. i am a huge REM fan (yes, sadly they broke up) but your picture looks like one of their photo shoots. sorry Jen to interface with our followers. I just felt the need to share.

  4. How cool, if i make a colon and parentheses i can get a happy or sad icon. Let’s try this out, shall we. πŸ™‚ 😦 πŸ™‚ 😦

  5. This looks so good! I love pumpkin bread and I’ve never even made it better, believe it or not. Now I have a tried recipe to use. I would pick the loaf of pumpkin bread over a pie! :o)

    1. Pumpkin, coffee, crackers, charcuterie….the list goes on and on. Every time we have visitors, we always place orders for all of the things we can’t get here.

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