Random Food Gift #10

For my friend Margot and her roomies, I made traditional Pumpkin Bread. Who doesn't like Pumpkin Bread? Classic spices, rich texture, walnuts on top. I was excited to give it to her, but when I showed up to drop it off at her house, we were more excited to see each other than talk about bread. It had been over a month since we last talked, and it was so nice to catch up. I suppose that's the best part about giving giftsto friends - the fact that we're friends, and there is lots to talk about! By the time I left I had almost forgotten the original reason I came in the first place.

The recipe from Cooking Light Holiday Cookbook says to use two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans, but I only had two 9 x 5's and they worked out fine. The bread is just a little short. If you want to make just one taller loaf, you could pour all the batter into one 9 x 5 loaf pan and bake it a bit longer.

Pumpkin Bread
Yields 24 slices (or 12, if you use one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
15 ounces (about 1 can) pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1) In a large bowl, combine flours and next seven ingredients (through cloves) and mix well with a whisk. Make a well in the center and set aside.

2) In a separate bowl, combine sugar and next five ingredients (through eggs) and stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture and stir just until incorporated.

3) Spoon batter into two 8 x 5 inch greased loaf pans and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.