Pumpkin Walnut Bread
It's time to admit that I'm on a serious pumpkin kick right now. Pumpkin curry, pumpkin creme brulee, and now, one of my all-time favorite appropriations of the ingredient: pumpkin quick bread. My grandma makes a knockout version that has held its spot as our family go-to, but this year I decided to venture into new territory, compelled by the inviting title of Food52 user Giulia Melucci's "The Pumpkin Bread I Can't Stop Eating." Excitement mixed with fear (would I really be able to stop?!) propelled me to the kitchen, where the recipe constant, canned pumpkin, mingled with a few new friends: olive oil, apple and walnuts. A mixture of all-purpose and whole-wheat flour gives the bread a density that is balanced well by the natural moisture of the olive oil and apples. With less sugar than other recipes, the warm spices in the bread -- cinnamon, cloves and allspice -- are given a stronger voice and the pumpkin flavor shines. Walnuts are an optional add-in, but give it the perfect amount of crunch. [Disclaimer: Yes, it is very addictive.]
PUMPKIN WALNUT BREAD
[Adapted from Food52 user Guilia Melucci's "The Pumpkin Bread I Can't Stop Eating"]
Makes: 1 loaf
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 15-oz can pumpkin
2 apples. peeled and pureed in a food processor
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup walnuts chopped, plus more to top
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
2. Beat sugar, honey, brown sugar and oil until blended, then add the eggs, pumpkin, and chopped apples.
3. In medium bowl combine the flours, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined (I used a whisk and some elbow grease). Mix in walnuts, and pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Top with more crushed walnuts if you like.
4. Bake for about an hour and 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Check after about an hour -- time will vary depending on oven temperatures).
5. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes in the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.