Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baking Challenge Week 2 - Miniature Glazed Butternut Loaves

I had no idea, at first, what to make for this challenge.  Mini pies, complete with tiny lattice tops? Wee little meringues, piped small like candy buttons? So out came the baking books for inspiration.  I was just about to pass over the 'Buns & Tea Breads' section of one of my British tomes when I recalled the existence of mini loaf pans.  And I had my answer.  I couldn't even wait until tomorrow to make them, though the challenge ruling on Sundays is that they're an overlap day, to finish up one week and start the next both.  So I didn't have to!

The original recipe card has long since been lost to the ages, so I have no idea of the provenance of this recipe, only that my mother has been making this pumpkin bread every fall since I was a wee little meringue myself.  I copied her card.

I present the original recipe in full first: I'll detail the changes I made afterward.

Pumpkin Bread
(makes 2 9" x 5" loaves)

  • 2/3 cup softened butter
  • 2 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp each ground cinnamon and cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Cream together the butter and sugar.  Mix in the eggs, pumpkin, and water.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and spices.  Gradually add to pumpkin mixture.  Stir in the walnuts and raisins, if using.

Divide between two greased 9" x 5" loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  (Not that I ever actually use a toothpick.  I was given a cake tester as a gift, but before that, I usually used a single dry spaghetti noodle.  Worked great!)

Mini Loaf Changes
  • I halved the recipe, which yielded enough batter for four 6" x 3 1/2" loaves, with a baking time of 30 minutes. If you don't see yourself baking many mini breads, just get a pack of disposable tins like the ones I used--there were eight in the package, and you can keep them in the tin for easier transport if you plan on giving any away.
  • I used butternut squash puree instead of pumpkin--no big deal either way, I have bags of both in my freezer.  Canned pumpkin is fine, it's what the recipe was written for, but I tend to roast my own in the fall and freeze the excess to use for things just like this.
  • The glaze is just powdered sugar and water, I didn't measure.  Add the water a little at a time until you get a good, spreadable consistency, then spoon some on your cooled loaves and watch it all try to run over the sides!
  • The almonds are just to make them pretty for the camera, because I had some still around--totally unnecessary.  Don't feel compelled.

1 comment:

  1. Great recipe for the challenge! I love the idea of making multiple mini loaves and giving away the ones I won't be able to finish. I'll have to look into getting some mini pans and trying your recipe!