Let me tell you that this pumpkin walnut bread trumps carrot cake.
I went out and bought two big butternut squashes today, baked them, mashed them, let them drain a long time, and put them in my refrigerator. I now have pumpkin puree (though technically I don't, I have butternut squash) to bake a lot of things. A lot.
I don't envision my interest going away anytime soon, and that's fine with me. It's a new flavor for my taste buds and I like it. And baking with such a gorgeous orange ingredient just puts me in a good mood. Add spices and nuts and few things can go wrong. At least for the few hours I spend baking, cooking, photographing and writing about it.
For the bread:
- 2 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups brown sugar (firmly packed)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups butternut squash puree or canned pumpkin
- 1 cup candied pumpkin (cut into chunks (optional))
- 1 cup walnuts (in large pieces)
- Maple Glaze
- Candied pumpkin (to decorate)
For the Maple glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbs hot water
- 4 Tbs maple syrup
For the bread:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF /180ºC.
- Butter two 8x4 inch loaf pans. Dust the pans with dry bread crumbs.
- In a bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spices. (I do it directly over the batter later)
- With an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar and oil for 1 minute. Add puree and mix well. Stir in the candied pumpkin.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix only to incorporate. Finally add the nuts. Don't overmix.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour or a bit more. They take a while to fully bake; the tester should come out clean.
- Let cool on rack and unmold. Glaze and scatter candied pumpkin on top.
- They keep at room tº for a few day if well wrapped.
For the maple glaze:
- Put powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
- Add hot water and mix until no clumps remain.
- Add maple syrup until you reach desired consistency. It should be like thick honey.