Nourishing Pumpkin Bread

by Meg Cotner on September 20, 2011

pumpkin bread

I feel pretty proud of this pumpkin bread. It has a wonderful tender crumb, is moist without being gummy, and the crust is crunchy without being obnoxious. It’s just sweet enough, and is full of healthy fats, not to mention sprouted flour (which digests as a vegetable).

The pumpkin is a puree I made over the winter, from an heirloom pumpkin that I roasted and processed through a ricer, then froze for a future use. While cleaning out my freezer last week, I found it in there and decided to defrost it and use it for… something (I wasn’t sure what exactly at the time). A day later it came to me: I could create a pumpkin bread recipe! One that had all the ingredients I wanted in it, and none that I didn’t.

Back around the holidays, I participated in a “secret santa” gift exchange, and received the Ratio book by Michael Ruhlman (my request). At the time, I wanted to start creating recipes – especially recipes that use unrefined sweeteners. I have found some recipes that I like but not that many. So, I thought the solution would be to create some of my own.

pumpkin bread batter

Understanding ratios Рhow ingredients relate to each other in appropriate proportions Рis key in this endeavor. I look at ratios as important knowledge and a way to harness deeper creativity in cooking. Knowing these ratios Рfor baking and cooking Рallows one to improvise in a way one might not feel comfortable enough with a spelled out recipe.

One would think these ratios would be applicable primarily to baking, since baking is perceived as a bit more persnickety than cooking. But the Ratio book also discusses things like stocks, rouxs, meats, mayonnaise, and custards. These all are based on specific proportions, too, just like muffins, or pound cake, or crepes.

Ratios are successful when one employs weight instead of volume; hence the lack of cups in the following recipe. Indicating weight instead of volume means that one can swap out one flour for another – spouted spelt for wheat, or freshly ground flour for prepared flour – without knocking the proportions off kilter.

I hope this doesn’t scare you off. A kitchen scale is an excellent tool and could become your best friend in the kitchen. I’ve used one for 20 years and can’t imagine my kitchen without it.

And believe me, this pumpkin bread is worth it.

pumpkin bread texture

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