It is that time of year where pumpkin flavor is nearly pouncing you from every corner…pumpkin spice lattes prancing on every coffee shop counter, towering pyramids of pumpkin bread mix at Trader Joes, a sea of canned pumpkin puree on aisle end caps at grocery stores…

I’m not complaining.

Autumn is my season. I feel better, more alive. I love the colors, the sweaters, the kids starting school, the trees, the smell in the air and the flavors. Bring on the pumpkin spice, the apple cake, the soups, stews and warm comfort foods. Sure, I miss the summer produce but my love of autumn has me temporarily blinded to the fact that winter is coming.

This is my first pumpkin baked good of Fall 2009. The house smelled like a dream today! This is very moist and not overly sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, spread the bread with honey butter or stir in a cup of chocolate chips or dried cranberries and walnuts.

Other Pumpkin Taste Treats:
Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake
Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Soup
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Basic Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Make 1 large loaf or 4 mini loaves

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (be sure to use fresh spice for best flavor! see substitute below if needed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans. Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until blended. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in pumpkin, then vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk starting and ending with the buttermilk.

Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. (Adjust for mini loaves. Check after 35 minutes) Cool bread in pan on rack 15 minutes. Cut around bread at short ends to loosen from pan. Turn bread out onto rack. Cool bread completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.)


Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute: For the 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, use instead 1 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon ginger , 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cloves