advent journal: pumpkin bread


I would love to tell you I remember who gave me this recipe. As you can see from the photograph, it has been around a long time and, based on the “this one” written and circled, it replaced one I had used previously. It has also erased the memory of the former recipe.

For all of the time I have baked this bread, I only recently noticed it is actually (and, I must say, unintentionally) vegan. Instead of eggs and butter, it uses vegetable shortening, pumpkin pureé, and Guinness (I think that is why I gravitated to this recipe). No animals were harmed in the making of this bread. Pumpkins, however . . .

One other note: the recipe does not use a whole can of Guinness, which means the remainder is left for the baker, regardless of the time of day.

pumpkin bread

2/3 cup vegetable shortening (preferably not Crisco), room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 can (15.5 oz) pumpkin
2/3 cup Guinness (or other dark beer)
1/4 cup molasses

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a stand mixer using the blade attachment, cream the shortening and the sugars. They will not fluff up like butter, but let it run for a while. Add the pumpkin, Guinness, and molasses and again let the mixer run until everything is mixed well.

While it is running, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a separate bowl and whisk to make sure they are combined well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until they form a consistent batter.

Prepare your loaf pans with oil and flour. This recipe will make two 9-inch loaves or six smaller ones. The larger loaves bake for an hour; the smaller ones for 25-30 minutes. Test the middle with a toothpick to make sure they are done. Let them rest on a cooling rack until they are cool enough to handle before you take them out of the loaf pans.

Bake, eat, repeat.


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