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Pumpkin and blueberry breads

April 18, 2011

Pumpkin bread, good year-round.

I love bread. In all its varied forms. I’ve never met a bread I didn’t like, whether it was pita in Jerusalem, eesh baladi in Cairo or dense, chewy kruh in Croatia. The intricacies of regular bread-making have long intimidated me, though it’s something I wish to venture into soon. Working with flour is not easy. Making pizza dough from scratch and pierogi have opened me upon to the ways of handling dough, taming it, not making a total mess of the kitchen and generally keeping it all together.

But this post is about sweet breads. Sweet breads are about as easy as they come. I’m a big fan of improvisation and creating my own recipes. This has led me astray time and again, producing things like gummy carrot cakes and broccoli cookies. But with sweet breads, it’s hard to go too wrong. They’re versatile, last long when wrapped in tin foil and can suit any taste for any season. Here are two of my favorites: pumpkin and blueberry. I drew on many recipes for inspiration, but eventually engineered my own.

Pumpkin bread (makes two loaves)

Ingredients:

one 16 oz. can of pumpkin puree

Three eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup applesause

2 cups granulated white sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

3 cups flour

cinnamon and all-spice, to preference

Instructions: Preheat over to 350. Mix sugars and oil, then add applesauce. Once well-blended, add pumpkin and three eggs. Mix with hand or stationery mixer. Then, in another bowl, mix sifted flour, salt, baking powder and sodas and salt together. Add cinnamon and all-spice. Slowly add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. On a butter-greased bread tin, pour 1/2 of mixture. Save rest for a second loaf. Bake for one hour, 10 minutes, roughly.

Blueberry bread that harnesses all the tartness of the berry and marries it to a fluffy bread.

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

optional: juice from a quarter of a lemon

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350. Mix oil, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla extract together. Then, in a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to wet mixture. Using a rubber spatula, delicately mix in frozen blueberries, avoiding crushing. In a butter-greased baking tin, add mixture. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour or until tooth-pick is removed cleanly and top is nicely browned.

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