(photographs by me)
Autumn has arrived here in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Suddenly our heater in the house is on and the playground across the street is completely covered in fallen yellow leaves. And yes, the rain is back, which means spending more time at home and in the kitchen. It always seems that once October hits, I get an immediate and constant craving for all things that go along with the fall season: apple pie, butternut squash soup, roasted corn, and most of all, pumpkin everything. Nothing screams Autumn more than a home that smells like cinnamon and pumpkin, and few things make my mouth water more than it.
This afternoon I threw on a scarf (for the first time in awhile) and headed out into the rain to the grocery store for a can of pumpkin puree. After purchasing a tiny package of Martha Stewart's baker's twine, I have been wanting to make miniature breads to stack and tie together, so I thought baking little pumpkin breads would satisfy both of my cravings: miniature cuteness and the taste of pumpkin.
The recipe itself can be made both vegan or non-vegan (I chose the vegan route since that is how it was originally and because I only had one egg in the fridge). Also, the recipe is for two regular-sized loaves, so feel free to cut it in half to make one loaf or mini loaves like I did (just cut the baking time in half also for the small ones). Oh yes, and these turned out delicious and very moist. Autumn, I love you.
Pumpkin Breads: adapted from La Dolce Vegan
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs or egg replacer to equal 3 eggs
1 14oz. can unsweetened pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 loaf pans and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs/egg replacer, and pumpkin. Set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir dry ingredients gently into the wet until it's "just mixed." Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips, if using, and spoon dough equally into loaf pans.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.