Attention! Fall color has arrived in south-central Texas!
Y'all, this doesn't always happen, so when it does, it's something to celebrate. And I am loving every minute of it.
A week or two ago I was lamenting the fact that I'm unable to make my annual batch of pumpkin bread because my massive mixing bowl and small loaf pans are in storage.
Well, things are still in storage, but since this is the time when I usually make said pumpkin bread, I thought we'd go ahead and revisit one of my all-time favorite recipes.
I think I've been making this particular recipe for almost twenty years now and its yield has served as many a teacher or hostess gift.
I love to see my freezer full of these plastic and foil wrapped bundles of joy.
To start with, you're gonna need A REALLY BIG BOWL. I have a commercial size one I use for this recipe. You can mix by hand or use an electric mixer. I usually break out my electric hand mixer since this bowl will in no way, shape or form fit under my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.
- 2 1/4 cups (that's 4 1/2 sticks) butter (I use unsalted)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon molasses
- 6 cups sugar
- 12 eggs (told you it was big)
- 2 cups orange juice (the OJ was AWOL during the group photo)
- 6 cups pumpkin puree (that's 2 - 29 oz. cans)
- 10 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
- 3 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter, molasses, and sugar until light and fluffy.
Mindy tip: Molasses has the consistency of tar, so I spray my measuring cup/spoon with some cooking spray before measuring the molasses. Just a little bit means all of the molasses releases into the bowl and I'm not scraping out what refuses to let go of the utensil.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, until light and lemon colored. (I don't know, does this look like lemon to you?)
Add orange juice and pumpkin and mix well.
Sift dry ingredients together into another large bowl and add to pumpkin mixture, stirring well to thoroughly combine all elements. (I use my mixer as long as I can, but switch to a spoon as it thickens and, frankly, is too deep for the mixer to properly blend)
Stir in raisins.
WARNING: If you are a person who likes to sample batter, regardless of the threat of raw eggs, this stuff is addicting. Just sayin'.
Spoon batter into greased loaf pans and bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Since I use the smaller pans, they only bake for about 35-40 minutes.
You can see that the pans I use are often varied. However, since this picture was taken several years ago, I believe I have finally replaced all of the foil pans with metal ones. Though they served me well for many years.
When a toothpick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean, remove from oven and cool in pans for 10 minutes.
Turn out onto racks to cool completely.
Aren't they cute? It's like a bread nursery.
Once they've cooled, I wrap them in plastic wrap, then foil and store them in the freezer. They keep for months. As I mentioned earlier, though, these make great gifts for neighbors, co-workers, teachers, and whoever you want to know you're thankful for them.
For a really nice presentation, simply place the unwrapped bread (sometimes I leave the clear plastic wrap on) into a cellophane bag and tie with some raffia or a pretty ribbon.
So the other night, I'm getting ready for bed and Dixie, our golden retriever was crashed behind me. Enter Maddie, our high-energy pup.
She sniffs her sister, then curls up right beside her.
Now how cute is that?
One of those things I just had to share.
Now it's your turn.
What are some of your favorite thinking-of-you gifts to give?
Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com