I’ve got a tiny confession to make. My cookbook library is kinda small. Make that very small. In fact, count them on two hands small. Little as it is though, I do use actually them, which is why I tend not to buy in bulk when it comes to recipe books, instead preferring to get good wear out of the ones I do own… however, that’s not say more aren’t welcome on my bookshelf (Christmas is nearing, hint, hint). Food blogs probably have a lot to do with my meagre cookbook collection too although I will admit there is nothing like leafing through a hard copy filled with dreamy images – in my opinion, computer screens will just never match the tactile beauty of a book.
My other confession (can you tell I was taised Catholic?) is that I never seem to be able to stick rigidly to a recipe. Of course, that helps when one is transforming a Nigella dish into a vegan friendly affair but baffles even myself when the recipe at hand is (a.) vegan (b.) delicious. Why mess with something that already works and tastes, well, fab? I guess sticking by the rule set was never my strong suit. So, even when I discover a recipe like this one (that’ll be Joy Wilson’s ‘Vegan Pumpkin Everything Bread’ I’m referring to), I can’t help but tweak it to suit my own tastes and needs (cue sugar reduction, vanilla extract addition, rye flour substitution etc.etc.) Like I said, me and rules never did mix very well… even when the rules were (read are) perfectly good ones. With that said, the basic recipe has been a firm favourite round these parts for years (literally) and we now enjoy it every year on Christmas morning with a cup of tea , as we sit around exchanging gifts. You could say it’s become something of a family tradition.
And even though I have pumpkin bread recipes of my own, which are darkly spiced and equally yummy, I really wanted to share this Joy The Baker favourite of mine because it’s kinda where my love for pumpkin bread really began. Yes, I’ve changed it up a bit throughout the years but it’s such an infallible recipe, any amendments you wish to make yourself will not affect it’s ultimate awesomeness – trust me, I’ve done all the experimenting for you.
Whilst it’s not exactly a Halloween recipe (more like a general autumnal offering) I still feel the need to say…
what you’ll need
adapted from Joy The Baker
11/4 cups plain white flour
1/2 cup rye flour
3/4 cup unrefined caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup agave or other vegan sweetener
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 small apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
what you’ll do
pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees celsius/350 fahrenheit.
grease a medium-sized loaf tin.
mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (flours, sugar, bicarb, baking powder, salt and spices).
whisk together the puree, oil, extract, agave and water until thoroughly combined.
make a well in the centre of your flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. fold gently until everything is almost combined before stirring through the pecans, apple and cranberries.
transfer to the loaf tin, top with whole pecans and dust over a little more sugar and cinnamon before baking for around 1hr or until a skewer comes out clean.
let the loaf cool for around 10mins before gently removing from the tin and cooling completely on a rack. once completely cooled, slice, eat and smile.