‘Twas 5 days before Christmas, when all through the house, there were no smell of baked goods, not even a sniff.
Last year, I made all kinds of fancy things (for me anyway) like homemade marshmallows to go with the hot chocolate on a stick. And mini-pretzel turtles. And the not-so-giant chocolate chip cookies. And Italian Knots. And a few more items like pizzelles, spritz cookies, etc. I must have been crazy.
Crazy because, not only did I make all these “fancy” stuff, but then I went and gave them to people as gifts. To Soso’s 14 (seriously, 14) teachers and caregivers. To neighbors. To friends. To relatives. To people I don’t normally give anything because I was all excited about my accomplishments.
So, 6 days before Christmas and I feel a little pressured to give something and stressed because I haven’t done any baking. No time, no energy, no spare brain cell left alive to even thing about it.
All this to day, this is why I made my first batch of pumpkin breads last night. Easy no brainer recipe, easy to package and tastes good if my friends, neighbors and relatives haven’t been lying to me all these years.
On my last count, I needed about 16 loaves between Soso and Peanut’s various teachers and caregivers. Because you know I was crazy last year and gave something to the art, music, Spanish, gym blah, blah, blah, blah teachers, the lunch room aide for crying-out-loud… is there anyone I didn’t include? Whatever the case, I’m cutting the list off at 16. That’s two batches, 8 mini-loaves each and that’s all I’m making. I need time to bake something for the Christmas Eve dinner since D categorically refused to go out for Chinese.
The recipe is simple and very basic. For variety, you can add chopped nuts or chocolate chips. I generally dislike nuts in breads so I never add them. I have added chocolate chips which give the bread more of a dessert feel. If adding chocolate chips, I would use a little less sugar. Unless you have a sweet tooth.
The wet ingredients including pumpkin puree, eggs, water, oil and sugar.
After incorporating the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Use the largest bowl you have because this is a lot of batter.
Mini-loaves are so cute, aren’t they?
Slap on a holiday label (Mine said” Happy Holiday! From Sosopie and Family”) and tie a pretty bow. Perfect for those subject teachers and ancillary caregivers who I want to give something, but don’t want to spend a ton of money. Hopefully no one hates pumpkin breads.
Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 45 mins – 1 hour
Serves: 8 mini-loaves or 4 regular loaves
5 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 can 29 ounce pure pumpkin puree
3 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup chocolate chips, optional
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Grease and flour 8 mini or 3 regular loaf pans. Pre-heat the oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, eggs, water, oil and sugar.
Incorporate the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Add chocolate chips if using.
Pour batter 3/4 full into the prepared pans. Bake in middle rack for 40 mins for mini and 1 hour for regular or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
*I discovered these disposable paper loaf pans at our local cake supply stores. You can bake right in them without greasing first! Plus, they make better presentation. I bought 4 small to try with my next batch. You can check out the various sizes and buy them on Amazon. If I like how they come out, I’ll buy a set of 25. I make a lot of bread over the years.
** I used these last night and I like the look. Plus, the loaves are easier to package for gifts.