Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pumpkin cranberry bread

I know we are past the very narrow window in which we consume pumpkin, but I have a belated recipe to share. I thought it might be nice to make a pumpkin bread to give out on Thanksgiving for the next day, and found the answer to my recipe hunt on one of my favorite design blogs, Design*Sponge. In addition to all of the food blogs I avidly follow, there are a number of design blogs I check in on regularly and am always inspired by the fresh ideas and creativity I find. Design*Sponge is doing a weekly series called “In the Kitchen With . . .” in which a designer is interviewed and shares a recipe. A couple of weeks ago, Lena Corwin, an illustrator and textile designer, was featured and shared her mother’s recipe for pumpkin cranberry bread. I spotted it just in time to incorporate it into my Thanksgiving plans.

I was initially a little dubious about the recipe as it contains more sugar than you probably care to think about and the raw batter tasted overly sweet. However, once baked, it contained the perfect amount of sweetness, and was moist and wonderful with beautiful flecks of cranberry and walnuts in it. On Thanksgiving, I sliced the loaf and wrapped the slices in polka dot tissue paper and then placed them in glassine bags tied with a bow – a very pretty giveaway and hopefully enjoyed the next day with fond memories of the holiday (don’t you love it when restaurants give you muffins for the morning after dinner?). I liked the recipe so much I had to make it again a few days later with the remnants of my annual bag of cranberries.

This seems like a good time to share some of my favorite design blogs. I have them loaded into igoogle (LOVE!) where I can keep an eye on new posts and easily poke around. I am always amazed at the wonderful taste, style and ideas coming from these women. Be forewarned: if you haven’t visited these sites before you are likely to be drawn in for hours (especially if you explore their sidebar links and wander over to their flickr photos). Hope that you discover something new and find as much inspiration as I have.

Another Shade of Grey: Lots of clever ideas. Showcases Etsy artists who I always love discovering (so much talent out there!)
Decor8: “Fresh finds for hip spaces” and such a sweet founder’s story
Design*Sponge (for the interview with Lena Corwin click here): Brooklyn-based daily blog about home and product design that also features interviews, city guides, store reviews and more
Grijs: Inspirational design from Europe
Hoping for Happy Accidents: Inspiration and ideas from Brooklyn
Kris’s Color Stripes: An Italian artist and fashion designer shares inspiration with beautiful photos accompanied by a color palette that makes me see things in a different way
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (Lena Corwin’s recipe from Design*Sponge)

This recipe uses either two standard loaf pans (plus a small (5") cake or a few muffins), or three aluminum foil loaf pans. The foil pans make it easy to give the bread as gifts.

Wet ingredients
1 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (one small can-425g)
2/3 cup butter, melted (150g)
2/3 cup water (160ml)
4 eggs

Dry ingredients
3 1/2 cups flour (455g)
3 cups sugar (600g)
2 tsp baking soda (10g)
2 tsp baking powder (10g)
1 tsp cinnamon (5g)
1 tsp nutmeg (5g)
1/2 tsp cloves (2.5g)
1/2 tsp salt (2.5g)
1/2 cup [coarsely] chopped walnuts or pecans (60g)
1 cup [coarsely] chopped fresh or dried cranberries (120g)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C degrees. Combine the eggs, pumpkin, butter, and water in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, plus the nuts and cranberries. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix with a wooden spoon by hand. Mix until the batter is combined, but don’t over mix. Grease the pans, and distribute the batter equally in the pans (should fill each about half way up). Bake for 1 hour.


Anonymous said...

This was the most amazing bread -- I had 2 huge pieces fresh out of the oven and on a cold winter day it hit the spot -- subtle flavors, light texture, wonderful colors -- R

Anonymous said...

This looks so good I may try it this afternoon. Thanks!

Katy said...

This looks so good!

Deborah said...

I believe that it is very acceptable to have pumpkin through Christmas!! Otherwise, how am I supposed to try this bread? It looks so cute and sounds amazing.

leosatter said...

this sounds sooooo good!!!!
Do you by chance, know of any quality online food services? I am starting to order all my food online because of various reasons. (Health being one of them) So far I have found 2 services, Fresh Dining (an LA company) and Celebrity Foods, but you have to call them so they can talk to you about your need. I would really like any suggestions that you may have, so I can widen my list of quality places online where I can order healthy food from.
Thank you and have a great night or day…depending on when you read this. LOL!!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love it how you packaged it!
What a wonderful idea for holiday gifts!

Anonymous said...

That is the cutest little package! I heard the bread was delicious too.

Anonymous said...

Charming presentation. I'm into cranberries too and recommend the recipe on the back of ocean spray cranberries packaged around thanksgiving. It's a fruit/nut bread with orange juice and zest(probably available on their website). Moist and tasty, I used pecans. Breads are usually good toasted for breakfast and make such a good gift!

Sabra said...

Deborah: I'm glad you think I can keep making this for a while!
Amy and Patricia: Thanks for stopping by again
Al ("fan"): I'll have to check this out although you know how I feel about orange juice! Probably could swap in something else.
Leo: I don't use any shop at home services since I take so much pleasure from shopping and see what strikes my fancy in the store - so sorry - but maybe someone else will have some thoughts for you.
M: Let me know how it goes.
Thanks Katy!

Bea said...

What a lovely sweet gift! Lucky friends!

bakeorbreak said...

Great pictures! This looks delicious. I love giving home-baked gifts! I would also love to receive one as lovely as this one.

creampuff said...

So beautiful!

Annemarie said...

You make this look just gorgeous, and sound pretty good too. If I see some fresh cranberries about, this will certainly get made.

Anonymous said...

Well, let me first start by saying that this bread tastes good. However, I do have a couple of problems with it that I thought I'd share.

First, I don't find it to be pumpkinny (??) enough. Most of the time when I've made a pumpkin bread in the past, it has a lovely characteristic yellow orange color that this was totally lacking. I was a bit skeptical when I only saw one can of pumpkin for that amount of bread, but I went with it.

Also, I can taste baking soda. I changed 1c of the sugar over to brown sugar to help with acidity to counteract the extra large amount of baking soda, and next time I make this (I will do so again), I'll probably use 2c of brown and 1c white as well as reducing the baking soda by at least 1/2 tsp.

Needs salt as well, even with salted butter.

But, the texture is amazing, and the fragrance is great. I hate nutmeg so I used coriander and ginger instead.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful recipe.
I made it today, and it was great! I love everything about this bread. True, there's not mych pumpkin taste in it, but I don't mind at all.

Tam Dang said...

May I substitue fresk pumpkin for canned pumpkin as I cant find canned pumpkin in my country where there's a lot fresh pumpkin in market! And do I have to roast or boil pumpkin first?
Thanks so much for your advice!
Tam Dang

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