PANE PER RINGRAZIAMENTO… Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts and Raisins!

by valentinalucia

I was determined for a while to make something with pumpkin when I came home for Thanksgiving. I literally spent hours looking through recipes I’ve collected to find the one I wanted to make. To be honest, there was no specific reason I chose this one – other than the fact I really wanted to make bread. I’ve been in a bread-baking mood lately, I suppose! So here’s my pumpkin creation for Thanksgiving – Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts and Raisins!

I’ve learned something about myself by baking this bread – baking/cooking is an outer-body experience for me. I’m not completely “there” when I cook, for reasons unknown to myself. I kind of float off into Blissful Kitchen Land where everything feels right at the time, or at least until one minute after I do it and realize I should have done something minutely different to change the recipe, hah. Like with this recipe, for example, I was supposed to mix the walnuts and raisins into the batter before pouring it into the pans – I realized this directly after I had poured the batter into the pans.

No biggie, though, right? I just sprinkled the walnuts and raisins on top, with an extra dash of cinnamon, and no one knows the difference. The other little sna-foo that occurred with this recipe was an overflow! I think I filled the pans with too much batter, and the bread overflowed a little while it was baking. It made for a slightly messy, yet tasty, cleanup, but things weren’t too bad – my recomendation if you make this bread is to try with one 9×5-inch loaf pan, or use less batter and make an even mini-er loaf with the remaining batter.

All in all, this bread is so good! It’s incredibly moist, thanks to the pumpkin and the applesauce. The walnuts and the raisins add a lovely nutty-sweet garnish and I think this bread could be eaten at any time of the day. I tried it for the first time a day after I made it, after it had been in the refrigerator over night and it was amazingly moist, flavorful, and delicious!

Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts and Raisins (makes one 9×5-inch loaf, or two mini loaves)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all purpose flour, unbleached

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of cloves

1/3 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 unsweetened applesauce

2/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

2  eggs

1 cup of canned pumpkin

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

1/3 cup raisins

Preparations:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a loaf pan, or two mini loaf pans, with nonstick spray.

2. Mix all dry ingredients (including spices) in a bowl.  Mix milk and vanilla together in another small bowl.

3. Mix sugars and applesauce in a mixer until completely blended. Add eggs one at a time.  Add pumpkin and blend until smooth.

4. Begin adding the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk/vanilla mixture.  Mix until just blended.

5. Pour batter into pan(s) and sprinkle walnuts and raisins on top. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife insterted in the center comes out clean (mine took about an hour and 10 minutes).

6. Let the loaf rest in the pan for about 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove loaf from pan and place on directly on wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.

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