Spiced Pumpkin Bread REDUX

by Rachel on October 24, 2010

Fact: I love miniature things. My favorite types of minis are mini doors and mini bottles. (This probably explains my total obsession with “Alice  & Wonderland” as a kid.) One of my favorite parts of studying abroad was visiting all the castles in the UK, which are filled with tiny doors, because people were shorter in the Dark Ages.

While I haven’t turned into a creepy dollhouse lady yet, I could totally see it happening in my later years. But for now, I can fulfill my need for tiny things by making mini loaves of bread.

The funny thing is, I found these mini loaf pans when I went to Michael’s hunting for a jumbo muffin pan for my fall muffin project. While I love miniatures, I also like a muffin to pack some heat. I was worried a jumbo muffin pan would be expensive, but I was hoping to rock out with a coupon.

The mini loaf pans solved all my problems. Instead of making huge muffins, I could just make mini loaves! Not only were the pans cheap — the orange pans were 70 cents, and the other colors were $1 — but they were seasonal and, well, fucking adorable! They will last me all through the fall season and can be used for so many cool baking projects (not to mention desk organization…all these flash drives need a home). And really, how perfect is this going to be for food gifting in a couple months?

Since I now had seasonal bake ware, I knew I needed to fill them with a seasonal delight. Pumpkin pie bread, anyone? I took Ellie Krieger’s healthy pumpkin pie muffin recipe and turned it into bread. Muffins, bread — who cares what shape it is?! It’s all carbs and it’s all good.

To do it yourself: combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

In another large bowl, beat together 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses, 1/4 cup canola oil, and 1 egg until combined. Then add 1 more egg and beat again. The beat in 1 cup canned pumpkin and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Measure out 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk. Beat the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk, until just combined. Pour into four mini loaf pans and top with 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

This bread is seriously legit. Not only do all those spices make it smell like you’re waking up in the Pottery Barn winter catalog, but the texture is just right. It’s dense but still springy, and just all kinds of perfection. I love the pumpkin seeds on top; for some reason, they just seem sort of exotic and sexy, in all their smooth, green, naked glory.

Some notes on the ingredients: I’ve had this recipe for a year, but I put off making it because I was freaked out by whole wheat pastry flour, unsulphered molasses, and raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds. I don’t want you to feel the same level of anxiety I did, so here’s what you need to know. Pastry flour just has more gluten which helps hold together flakier baked goods (i.e. those made with a lot of butter); Bob’s Red Mill makes it, and I’ve seen it in enough recipes to feel OK investing in a whole bag of it. If you can’t find it, you can substitute 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. I actually bought mine in the bulk section of Central Market. That is also where I found the raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds. If you can’t find those at the store, why not hack into your pumpkin and get some the old-fashioned way? And unsulphered molasses is seriously not a big deal. Target had one kind of molasses — it was unsulphered and $2.

And PS Michael’s is having a big sale tonight from 4 to 8 PM and I have a coupon for 15 percent off everything, including sale items. That means you can get these pans for just 60 or 85 cents. E-mail me if you want me to send you the coupon for the pans or any other fun crafty goodies! I love Michael’s. Like, sorry Hob Lob, but while you’re closed so your employees can “worship” tonight, we’ll be getting it on at Michael’s.

OK I think I’ve now taken care of all your excuses for not making this bread ASAP!

The mini loaves keep for three days in the fridge or three months in the freezer, which is where my extras are currently chilling. I like baking this way; it’s like I’m a pioneer preparing for the coming frost. It also means I won’t have to do another round of dishes when I want to eat it again.

You would be more than OK making this as a gift and giving it to people for a fall “Thanks for letting me crash on your couch!” gift or perhaps a “Thanks for bringing my lonely-ass in for Thanksgiving!” gift or “I know you said I didn’t need to bring anything to the pumpkin carving party, but I did anyway!” gift. And when you let them keep the adorable pan — because who doesn’t like miniatures and free bakeware?! — you will be seen as the greatest guest to ever cross their threshold and will be invited back for years to come.

Or you can refuse to share it! I wouldn’t judge you. Last week, I had the first mini loaf out as I was making breakfast/lunch for Eric and me before work. There were two slices left of the bread, and then the two heels. I put one slice of bread in his lunch and was planning to have the other for breakfast. But then I turned around and Eric was eating it! I was so pissed that he left me with the heels, so I took the slice out of his lunch so I could eat it for breakfast and gave him the two heels for lunch. I love my boyfriend, but homeboy was trippin’ that morning.

All right, I’m off to read the new Project Tasteless entries! Don’t forget, you have until midnight tonight to get your Naked Chef entry in. Bonus points if you incorporate strategically placed mini loaf pans.

Have a great day!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kenz @ All The Weigh October 24, 2010 at 10:31 am

Oh wow…I’m so inspired…I’m going to make pumpkin bread this week! Just saying.

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2 Rachel October 24, 2010 at 10:34 am

That’s awesome! Let me know how it goes!

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3 genesis October 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

its like youre reading my mind…i need a reason to go all the way to michaels. id love a coupon, pretty please :)

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4 janetha g @ meals & moves October 24, 2010 at 11:49 am

Yet another reason to love you.. I, too, LOVE mini things. I have a strange obsession with them and get stupidly excited over anything mini. Ironically, Alice in Wonderland is my favorite childhood movie. The bread looks so damn good. That Ellie knows her stuff, I love her coffee cake recipes.

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5 Cat @ YoungFoolishHungry October 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I told my boyfriend about your thoughts on the Hob Lob being closed on Sunday and he nows refers to Michael’s as “Pagan Michaels”. Hilarious! That pumpkin bread looks phenom — definitely added it to my list!

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6 Arien October 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I honestly don’t want to nag, but I think whole wheat pastry flour actually has less protein (and is milled finer) than other whole wheat flours, so that baked goods stay tender. Same with regular pastry flour (or “cake” flour)–it’s made from soft wheat.

Er . . . sorry I’m not sorry?

That being said, ww pastry flour is a great substitute for all purpose in almost all baked goods. And these pumpkin loaves look amazing. I might have to make them soon. Thanks for the great recipe.

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7 Rachel October 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Ah, that is probably true — I probably shouldn’t trust everything I read on the internet! Good to know!!

And also good to know that you can use it in most baked goods. (Unlike cake flour, which, when substituted for all-purpose flour, can cause funny things to happen.)

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8 Matt October 24, 2010 at 1:44 pm

That looks awesome! Now I need to go waste some money on mini loaf pans ;)

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9 Gracie October 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I actually just wrote a post about my tried-and-true pumpkin bread recipe, but now you’ve got me second guessing myself! The addition of molasses and buttermilk sounds especially tasty.

Also good to know that mini loaf pans aren’t ridiculously expensive! I’m determined to give people baked goods for the holidays this year (avoiding the mall + being able to eat batter all day = killing two birds with one stone). I don’t feel like hitting up Michael’s tonight buuuut maybe it’s imperative that I do…

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10 Rachel October 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Let me know if you try it! I will have to check our your tried-and-true recipe as well. There’s a regular sized pumpkin loaf pan (so your bread is all decorated with swirly vines and such) that I might use my coupon for tonight, and I’m always down for trying a different recipe!

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11 Caitlin October 24, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I’m sorry but the only thing I can focus on here is how much that person behind you looks like Justin Bieber.

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12 loreejo October 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm

are you crazy? i’da pimp-slapped you just to GET the heels of the bread! that’s my favorite part! this looks good rach, i’ll be making it this week…and eating the heels first. :)

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13 Rachel's Mom October 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I hate the heels, too. Guess that’s where you get it. :)

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14 Mary (A Merry Life) October 24, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I’m catching up on your blog, and I just have to say it makes me really happy. :)

I loooooove mini things. I think my favorite thing I own is mini cupcake baking cups. I love your mini bread pans. Too cute!

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15 Smash @ Appreciate The Now October 25, 2010 at 8:23 am

Serious noms. And I love tiny foods!

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16 Marie October 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Haha I freaked over those cute little pans last Christmas and made mini chocolate chip banana breads for my friends/coworkers. Totally doing that again this year, but I need to make this pumpkin bread! Yum! I also need to head to Michael’s for more adorable loaf pans, I love these falls colors. Love your blog!

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17 Allison October 16, 2011 at 11:04 am

I realize this was a full year ago, but I made this yesterday in the mini loaf pans. SO GOOD. I brought a little pan to a friend who had us over and she loved it. Thanks for the great idea!

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18 Rachel October 17, 2011 at 10:09 am

Oh yay! Glad to hear that!!

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