Of all the recipes I've posted, I'm most excited about this one. Every year since he was about 7, my wonderful husband has been in charge of making the holiday pumpkin bread. This year, he as been tirelessly working to create the perfect vegan version of his famous classic. After about 4 different loaves, he's finally found THE ONE! It's light, fluffy, moist, sweet, pumpkinny, and the most delicious bread I think I've ever had. The only other bread that could compete would be my dad's zucchini bread. I seriously considered not posting this because I've always wanted a stellar secret recipe, but Michael insisted I share it with everyone :) He's too nice. Remember that baking is a science, so you want to follow this recipe like the straight A student you always wished you could be ;)
Makes 2 loaves (trust me you don't want to half it - you'll thank me later)
2⁄3 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 1⁄2 cups bread flour (this is the secret ingredient!)
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1⁄4 tsp cloves
1⁄2 tsp allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups PLUS 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
3⁄4 cup vegetable oil
1. Prep. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 8"x4" loaf pans. If using walnuts, chop or crush them. To crush them, put them under a towel or in a plastic bag and crush with something heavy - the bottom of a saucepan, a meat pounder, a hammer, etc. Don't hurt yourself.
2. Create the buttermilk. Combine milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle.
3. Sift dry ingredients. In a large bowl with a sifter or metal strainer, sift together bread flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. *The measurements listed for the spices are your standard amounts. However, this is the one area where Michael deviates from science and follows his chef intuition for the amount of spices he adds. If you want to add more cinnamon, less ginger, etc this is your chance to make it your own.
4. Add sugars. Add the brown sugar and white sugar to the dry ingredients and mix well with a fork.
5. Mix wet ingredients. In a smaller bowl, mix together oil, buttermilk and pumpkin puree with a hand held mixer on low until combined. If you don't have a hand held mixer, use a spoon and mix well.
6. Combine all ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with the hand held mixer or a fork until lumps are gone. Do NOT over-mix.
7. Fold in walnuts. Although they're very similar, folding is different from mixing. If you don't know what folding means, watch this this quick video on how to fold batter. It's one of the easiest things in the world, but if you're going to be doing some more baking in your future, you should know the difference between the two. *You don't need the rubber spatula if you don't have one and you can add all the nuts at once...
8. Bake. Bake for 65 minutes on 350°. At 65 minutes, check to see if bread is fully cooked by gently sliding a butter knife in the middle of the bread. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, put it in for 5 more minutes and check again.
9. Cool and Serve. Let bread cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm with butter!!!