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?

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5 comments:

  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!

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  2. I actually think it looks pretty damn good.

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  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....

    ~Kelly
    http://www.30somethingandsearching.today.com/

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

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

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