This is my favorite time of year. Even L.A. gets its own kind of fall.
The food mascot of fall (for me) is squash (all kinds). Last weekend, my love affair was with pumpkin. I seem to always have extra fresh and canned squash on hand, and this is a good way to use that stuff up.
Nothing feels more like fall than the wafting intermingling smell of baking pumpkin, sugar, and spices. Bake this bread just for the sake of how it makes your home smell.
Adapted only slightly from Bon Appetit (November, 1995), here is my new favorite recipe for pumpkin bread.
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs (I left out a teeny bit of white from the 3rd egg, because I used less pumpkin and flour)
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin (I used about 15 ounces and it worked great)
3 cups all purpose flour (I used about 2.8 cups, since I had less pumpkin)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin.
Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.
*I also glazed the bread after they cooled. I mixed powdered sugar with a little water until I get a not too think consistency, and then I drizzled it over the bread.