It's a rainy fall Saturday here in Portland. The drops are pounding on the window panes. The yellow leaves on the trees are glowing against the gray sky. The heat is kicking on from time to time and the jazz station is playing moody standards. I love it. It's the kind of day that feels like six o'clock in the evening when it's only noon time. Lazy day. Some warm, yummy pumpkin bread would be a great snack with some hot cider or a good cup of coffee. I imagine the smell of pumpkin and spices in the air, the plump raisins, mmm, it will be perfect. I am imagining things.
Battle pumpkin bread began yesterday. Similar weather and a craving for a moist pumpkiny treat prompt me to get baking.
I chose a recipe from a reputable bakery's cookbook. I follow it exactly, well, I add three tablespoons of ground flax seed and some walnuts but nothing crazy. It bakes. It smells great. It looks amazing. I take photos and picture my blog post entitled 'The Best Pumpkin Bread Ever!' I let it cool. Okay, I really didn't let it cool. I was so excited to have some that I sliced it while it was still warm. The raisins were plump and the bread was a bit crumbly but I attributed that to it's fresh out of the oven state. I proceed to eat the whole end slice thinking to myself, this doesn't really taste right. It must've been because it was the end. They don't call it the heel for nothing. I cut the next piece it had to be better. It wasn't. I ate the whole slice anyway. I don't know why. It was bitter and my tongue felt coated with something but I'm not sure what. I realized by the smudge of dried up pumpkin on the lower corner of the recipe page that I had made this before and unfortunately at that moment I remembered I didn't like it last time either. Into the trash it went.
Pumpkin Bread 1, Cristine 0
So here we are today. Take two. I would not be put down by this one recipe! My craving was not satisfied. I would not be defeated! I would try again.
All my cookbooks came out. I googled. I compared ingredients and decided on a recipe that had 840 reviews. 840! How could I go wrong? I did what almost all reviewers had suggested and switched up applesauce for half of the oil, cut back the sugar a little, use part whole wheat flour. Excellent, I thought, it will be kind of healthy, too! This particular recipe made two loaves. Another bonus! I could eat one and freeze one for when my husband gets back. Perfect. I imagine my blog post title, 'The Best Pumpkin Bread Ever...two loaves, one mess!'
Two loaves. One with raisins, one with chocolate chips. They smell delicious and spicy. I let them cool and I eat a slice. Great flavor, but it's a little cake-like. It's just not what I'm looking for in a pumpkin bread. Oh no! Is this really happening?
"They" say it's best to let your pumpkin bread sit and eat it the next day after the flavors meld together. Maybe I'll try another slice tomorrow. These won't be another treat for the trash can but I'm not about to list the recipe either. I think I'm raising my white flag. All of a sudden the idea of anything pumpkin is making me feel a little ill. Defeat?
Pumpkin Bread 3, Cristine 0