I made punkin’ bread from a real-live pumpkin! Because he is a God in our kitchen, I went with the Alton Brown recipe on the Food Network’s website, with a couple of modifications.
The finished product:
I’d never used a pumpkin without roasting it first and making my own puree similar to Ye Olde Canned Variety. Alton’s recipe calls for raw pumpkin, grated. If you have a food processor, I would HIGHLY recommend that you use that to grate your pumpkin, unfortunately, we’re missing a critical piece necessary to use the grate blade. Bummer.
We DO have a mandolin slicer though, with a julienne blade. So first I peeled the pumpkin, using a standard ol’ veggie peeler. (Another first!) Then I quartered the pumpkin, and ran it across the mandolin. Amazingly, I still have all of my digits attached, even though pumpkins are pretty darn firm, and that finger protector thing isn’t very effective. It’s SOO much easier to just grip the pumpkin with your hands and push it across the slicer, but then, it’s also SOO much easier to julienne your hand (and I’ve been there, done that, thankyouverymuch.) I was a little worried that julienning the pumpkin into long strips would cause problems with the cooking, but it was fine.
I peeled a small sugar pumpkin, and ended up with enough grated material for 2 loaves of AB’s bread. (The second of which I’ll be making tonight! Yum!) The only other change that I made was to switch out the toasted pumpkin seeds in his recipe for chopped walnuts and pecans, based on some of the comments I’d read to the original recipe, which claimed the seeds became a gummy inedible mass in the bread. I already had nuts on hand (for making emergency batches of AB’s granola, as luck would have it) so it was an easy-peezy switch.
The key to making the bread is to FOLD the ingredients together, and to use as few strokes to mix everything together as possible. Once the flour pockets are all gone, and the whole bowl is one consistent mess, you’re done. Put the spatula down. Do not use a mixer for this recipe – you’ll end up with a gluteny, gluey mess. When it’s done, it’s best warm, and if you have a spare scoop of vanilla ice cream looking for a place to call home, it’ll be very cozy on top of your punkin bread.
And to save you from scrolling ALL the way back up to the top of the post, here’s the link again for AB’s punkin bread.