The Happy Chef – Best Pumpkin Bread EVER!

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I have three HUGE pumpkins from the oh so very beautiful Sinkland Farms on my porch and you better believe I am not going to let my favorite vegetable (that happens to be my favorite color) go to waste! I am going to make this unbelievably delicious bread, hope you do too! Happy Halloween!!

3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 cups puréed pumpkin (fresh or one 15-ounce can)

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup canola oil

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup molasses

1 cup chopped pecans

-In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and orange peel.

-In a second bowl, combine pumpkin, butter, oil, eggs and molasses.

-Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add pumpkin mixture and stir just until mixture is combined and dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the pecans.

For bread: Divide batter between two greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; then turn out on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves.

For muffins:Grease two muffin tins (or use vegetable cooking spray). Fill muffin cups 2/3?s full. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in tins for 5 minutes; then turn out muffins on wire racks. Makes 20 to 24 muffins.

This recipe can be varied by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of raisins, chopped dates, prunes or apricots. Honey can be substituted for the molasses.

By Leigh Sackett
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