One-Bowl Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
Two sweet recipes in a row! It must be THAT time of year…
Actually, I am thrilled that it’s October and that the weather’s gotten cooler. For one thing, I can now use my oven again without dire, sweaty consequences. I’m excited about chilly mornings and cool evenings: needing a hot cup of coffee to warm up my fingers when I sit down at my computer each day, and needing a blanket to curl up under at night.
I know there are some who would consider Santa Barbara to be a place that never quite gets hot enough, but for me it’s gotten plenty hot, especially since this drought hit. So I treasure every single one of the cool, misty days when the marine layer floats in over the mountains, and I can briefly pretend that we have seasons here, and that it’s fall.
I’ve been doing just fine without the Wisconsin winters of my childhood, but I do miss those two perfect weeks of Wisconsin Octobers with their crisp air and bright fall colors. Paula and I briefly visited Philadelphia a few weeks ago, and while on our own private nostalgic walking/snacking tour of West Philly, we got to step on a good number of crunchy fallen leaves – the leaf-crunching was almost as satisfying as our vegan tofu hoagie banh mi (thank you, Fu-Wah mini mart).
Now that my oven is once again operational, all sorts of baking and roasting activities have recommenced: pizza, brownies, and polenta, roasted broccoli, haricots verts, and ingredients for tomatillo salsa. But nearly all of these have been Paula projects – and she’s been doing all of the dishes, too, because of my tendinitis issues. So when she brought home a can of pumpkin puree – the first of the season! – and asked me to make
my my sister Jess’s pumpkin chocolate chip bread, I couldn’t refuse.
This is a lovely, simple recipe for a pumpkin quick bread with the additions of chocolate chips and walnuts, but you can add whatever you like.
The best part is that it calls for one can (or two cups) of pumpkin puree, and makes two loaves of bread: one to enjoy right away, and one to freeze for later. Wrapped tightly in tin foil, quick bread will keep well in the freezer, and will defrost perfectly overnight if set out at room temperature.
The other best part is that it only dirties one bowl (we’ve been pretty dishes-conscious around here since the tendinitis onset). As it turns out, this is a pretty good recipe for someone with RSI hand pain, other than chopping the walnuts and transferring the batter from the heavy bowl to the loaf pans, both of which Paula did for me.
The pumpkin bread will be a little crumbly if you cut into it while it’s still warm – something that’s hard to resist — but it will firm up as it cools. Rich with cinnamon and cloves, the bread is not too sweet other than the dots of melty chocolate. The bitterness of the walnuts helps balance out the other flavors while adding a little textural contrast and crunch.
I love the ends and the top of the loaf, which makes me think this recipe would also translate well to a muffin tin, where you’d get an even better muffin-top-to-bottom ratio… (I’m sure that would work — instead of each loaf, you could probably get around 12 small muffins — but if you try it, make sure you check on them frequently, since the muffins will have a much shorter baking time than a whole loaf of bread.)
Sure, the last thing the internet needs right now is another pumpkin recipe, but let’s say you were hypothetically looking for one GOOD pumpkin recipe, instead of 50 mediocre ones… trust
me my sister: this is it!
Print this recipe. (PDF)
One-Bowl Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
(Makes 2 loaves)
Active time: 15 minutes; Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
~ 2½ cups flour
~ 2 cups sugar
~ 2 tsp. baking soda
~ 1 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon
~ ½ tsp. ground cloves
~ dash ground nutmeg
~ 2 eggs
~ 15-16 oz. pumpkin puree (about 2 cups; either canned or homemade)
~ ½ cup vegetable (or other) oil
~ ¾ cup chocolate chips
~ ¾ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
How to make it:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, and grease two loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, pumpkin puree, and vegetable oil. Stir until the dry ingredients have just been incorporated, sprinkling in the chocolate chips and walnuts as you stir. Be careful not to overmix the batter. Then transfer equal amounts of the batter to the two greased loaf pans.
4. Bake loaves for 1 hour, then allow to cool a bit in the loaf pans before transferring to a serving board/plate. (Or allow to cool to room temperature, then wrap tightly in foil and freeze for up to two months; defrost overnight at room temperature.)
Print this recipe! (PDF)
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