Monday, May 25, 2015

Recipe: High Altitude Pumpkin Bread

I have one freezer out in the garage that is entirely dedicated to fruits and vegetables to be used in future baking projects.

Until the power goes out and we don't realize it for 24 hours, in which case - the future is now!

I lost the top shelves - bananas, shredded zucchini, pears (organic! sob), and the bottom shelves (corn, pumpkin) were still mostly frozen, but I still had a large plastic tub full of things that something needed to happen to quickly. Refreezing is an option, but that starts to do bad things to texture, and I wanted to bring some treats to work anyway...

There was one bag of pumpkin chunks on a different shelf that had completely thawed. I love pumpkin bread, but any kind of bread at our altitude (almost 7,000 feet) can be tricky. I have been fiddling with recipes, and this one turned out pretty well, so I wanted to pass it along!

(Feel free to halve - I measured this to match the amount of pumpkin I had to use)

In one LARGE bowl, mix:
4 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups applesauce
8 eggs
4 cups smooshed pumpkin

In another LARGE bowl, sift together:
7 cups of flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves

I never used to bother with sifting, but it really makes a difference at this altitude. Plus, you don't have to worry about biting into a clump of baking soda that made it past you - blech! You also want to stir the wet dough as little as possible, to keep it from getting gluey, so it helps to start with all the dry ingredients already well-mixed.

Add the first bowl to the second, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Again, you don't want glue! Optional: When it was mostly mixed, I put half of it back into the first bowl, and finished stirring with a bag of chocolate chips in one batch, and raisins in the other. You could also add your favorite nuts.

Preheat oven to 350 while you drop the mixture into muffin tins or little bread pans (on top of cookie sheets, in case of overflow). I filled these about halfway, and baked until the good old toothpick came away clean:


Take a moment to admire the lovely paper plate. Nothing but the most sophisticated tableware, here.
Now, about those frozen, grilled peaches...

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