Friday, December 05, 2008

Foody Friday: mega-pumpkin bread!

A few weeks ago, as I was strolling up and down the aisles of the neighborhood grocery store, it was full of specials relating to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. For some reason -- probably due to subliminal advertising or something, wouldn't put it past stores these days -- it popped into my head that I wanted to make some pumpkin bread.

But, I don't *like* pumpkin! Okay, not really. I don't mind it. But I've never been a fan of pumpkin pie - it's just way too slimy, and overwhelmingly pumpkin-y and spicy.

So I picked up a box of Pillsbury's pumpkin version of their Quick Bread... but almost immediately started thinking about how to jazz things up a bit. I mean, just plain old "bread" would be a bit boring, right?

I noticed that they suggested adding either cranberries or walnuts into the mix. "Hey, I have both at home, how 'bout both?" I said to myself.

And yet, I still felt like there was more I could do.

"How 'bout making it a MEGA-pumpkin bread?" I asked myself.

Next thing I know, I've added a can of pumpkin pie filling to the cart. Yeah, the stuff that I say is all slimy. Go figure.

So next came the kitchen adventures.

Prepared everything according to the box, then added the can of filling, and a handful of walnuts (available due to my Waldorf salad adventures) and cranberries (available sue to my broccoli cheddar salad adventures).

Popped the mixture into a loaf pan, and into the oven it went.

"Uh-oh", it dawned on me, "adding the mixture is going to impact the cooking time!"

Ummm, yeah. Almost doubled it!

The box called for a cook time of about 40 - 50 mins. I think I ended up adding another 30 mins before saying screw it, I'm tired of poking a toothpick in this thing every ten minutes!

Here's the result:

If you look closely, you'll see that the top half looks bread-like, while the bottom half seems to have the consistency of pumpkin pie. Thankfully, the bottom half wasn't overwhelmingly slimy. I liked the nuts, but wasn't keen on the cranberries. Overall, definitely very edible, and redoable.

I figured, in order to not get the two different consistencies next time, I would need to reduce or even eliminate the water added to the mix, since the pumpkin pie filling provides a lot of moisture.

So, this past Thanksgiving weekend, I experimented again, this time adding just half the water the box calls for. I also added about 1 - 1.5 cups of walnuts. No cranberries. Baked it at 450 for 15 mins before turning it down to 375 for ... um... yeah... again with the poking the loaf with a toothpick every ten minutes or so after a total of an hour of baking ... I don't remember exactly how long it was actually in the oven.

But it came out a lot better. (No pix, sorry!) One of my nephews(-in-law), the seven year old, declared it was the best bread he had ever tasted :) How's that for a pat on the back? :) There was some confusion whether the bread was more appropriate to be eaten with the main meal, or as dessert. Frankly, both also can! :)

The only drawback that I could see was that it was a little too crumbly, so that's the next improvement to make.

And yes, there will be a next time.

I have two boxes of the bread mix and two accompanying cans of pie filling waiting in the kitchen cabinet,,, one set of which will be used later today: going to try it out in a 8x8 pan, the mix will be more spread out, brownie-style (Kosh's suggestion). If you're interested, I'll take pix / report on how it turned out - if you leave me a comment expressing your interest, that is, LoL!

So... anyone else like to experiment in the kitchen?

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to my feed,
and checking out my other blog: a malaysian abroad


  1. I'm always doing things like that---rarely follow a recipe exactly and famous for "add-ins". Usually turns out ok--although I have had a few mishaps in my lifetime. I love the kitchen...almost my favorite room in the house! Your bread sounds yummy--I am a fan of anything pumpkin! Made my first pumpkin pie totally from scratch this Thanksgiving--bought a raw pumpkin and everything--it was worth the effort. Have an extra bag of pumpkin puree in the freezer now--cant wait to make pumpkin bread!

  2. I actually think it looks pretty damn good.

  3. I can't stand the whole pumpkin pie thing either. I hate the texture. I do enjoy pumpkin muffins and cakes and things.

    Liquified (is that a word?), it's just gross. My sister loves the pumpkin coffees. Yuck. We always make pumpkin pie even though we don't like it. For thanksgiving, it's required. It smelled so good , I felt compelled to try it again. I still found it disgusting.

    Your bread sounds good. I wouldn't have liked the cranberries either.

    I do like to experiment. I'm always just throwing whatever I have together to see what happens. sometimes, it's a bad result, or an ok result. Most of the time, it's a keeper.

    I'm hungry....


  4. Oi! I would love to have a taste of that scrumptious pie. You think it'll survive an overnight courier service? ;-)

  5. I have never ever tasted pumpkin in my life...


Dear legitimate commenters: all comments are welcome! My sincere apologies for making you go through the word verification hurdle, tho.

Dear spammers: please don't bother... I'm just gonna delete any spam that squeaks through word verification anyway, so why not save us both the trouble, eh?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin