It's pumpkin season! There is no better time than now to make moist, fluffy autumn-spiced pumpkin bread. Sweetened with maple syrup this amazing bread is flavoured with the warming spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves... or to your desire. Why not bake a loaf over the autumnal Easter period.
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup maple syrup
1 cup pumpkin purée (I make my pumpkin puree from scratch by steaming diced pumpkin until cooked, then allowing it to cool enough to blend with the stick blender)
¼ cup milk of choice or water
My spice mix is ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice.
1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT baking powder; they aren’t the same!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit.
Pinch of ground cinnamon, for sprinkling on top
OR pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and/or pomegranate seeds on top after pouring into the loaf tin
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, beat the oil and maple syrup together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and whisk until blended.
Add the pumpkin purée, milk, spices, baking soda, vanilla and salt, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon (pepitas and pomegranate seeds). If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (typically, if I haven’t added any mix-ins, my bread is done at 55 minutes; if I have added mix-ins, it needs closer to 60 minutes). Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the bread to a cooling rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.