As a young wife and mother, I started the first few years of Christmas baking by using my mother’s tried and true recipes. I knew we liked those and knew how they were supposed to turn out. It was much later that I dared to try new recipes if I saw pictures that looked do-able or had friends who shared recipes. But back then I started with quick breads. I made a loaf of banana bread, a loaf of cherry bread and a loaf of pumpkin bread. The pumpkin bread always was my biggest hit. Everyone loved it. I had to make 2 batches because it disappeared so fast.
I still use the same recipe for pumpkin bread. Tried and true goes the distance! The recipe was from a church cookbook from my hometown church. It was by a church lady I even knew (it was a small town, we all knew each other, really). Ceil Backberg had the best pumpkin bread recipe and today I made a fresh batch to use up some pumpkin I mistakenly opened. I was making a pumpkin black bean soup that called for 2 cups of pumpkin and not thinking, opened 2 cans of pumpkin. At 15 ounces each, that would be nearly 4 cups. Huge duh.
So pumpkin bread became my way to use up the pumpkin and that’s not a hardship around here. It disappears in a day or two; my P.S. is a huge fan. It’s a rather simple recipe that doesn’t require any melting or chopping. I like that the recipe calls for mixing it all with an electric mixer. It’s quick and I don’t have to wear out an arm beating anything!. You just keep throwing in ingredients and beating it some more, then spread it out in two pans and bake!
The recipe doesn’t call for greasing the pan but I did spray the bottoms anyway. I may have forgotten to copy that part from the church cookbook. I’m too lazy to go upstairs to my cookbook library and check. And speaking of my cookbook library, is it odd that it’s kept on the second floor in a spare bedroom? Not to me. I put all the essential recipes into my program (Now You’re Cooking!) and don’t have to consult the books often. As much as I love my collection, it is much faster any more to do an online search for a recipe if I don’t already have one stored. The books are safer tucked out of the way, since I’m about one cookbook away from being a hoarder.
My bread is done baking, I’ve made two loaves using my favorite long and skinny pans I mentioned in my banana bread post, and we’re ready to taste! I love pumpkin bread warm and fresh from the oven, no butter needed. Or in a couple of hours with butter. Or even in a couple of days, toasted then buttered with a sprinkle of cinnamon. I’ve even read a recipe that calls for making french toast with pumpkin bread that has dried out a bit. I might even try that! So many choices. I might have to make more loaves.
Ceil’s Pumpkin Bread
2/3 cup shortening (I use butter-flavored)
3 cups sugar
1 can pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F.
With electric mixer cream shortening and sugar; add eggs, then pumpkin.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt together. Alternately add water and dry ingredients to bowl, mixing completely after each addition.
Pour into two greased pans. Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick tested in center comes out dry.