Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Bread Showdown

It all started with this can of pumpkin puree and pumpkin bread from Starbucks and the challenge was on. 
I recently read in one of my cooking magazines that this pure pumpkin from Target beat out 4 other leading brands in a recent survey based on taste, texture and how it held up for baking. It was at the same time I came across the following link to a pumpkin bread recipe just like the kind you can get at Starbucks.
http://www.copykat.com/2012/12/09/starbucks-pumpkin-bread/
It is an interesting site that uses recipes from restaurants that are chains or ones that are available in the majority of the country. The recipes are then adapted to home cooking.  A lofty goal in my book! Check out the link for LOTS of recipes in every category. The site manager Stephanie recently published a book that focuses on recipes from restaurants that you can cook in your home. 
So I decided to have a "pumpkin bread showdown". First I started with the real deal from Starbucks.
I followed Stephanie's recipe with a few minor tweaks and here's how my bread turned out. It is similar to Starbucks with the same fall flavors of spice and pumpkin. I thought it was pretty close and would certainly make it again. I wondered how using equal parts of brown and white sugar and substitute 1/2 cup whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup white flour would be?? 
Another time :)   
Starbucks Pumpkin Bread
Cook's notes: The recipe called for 1 cup of pure pumpkin. I would suggest cutting pumpkin amount down to 3/4 cup and then out of one can you can bake two loaves of bread. The recipe gave an option of using pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices listed in recipe. It works but if you like more of a stronger spice flavor I would suggest using the individual spices. 
The following recipe has been adapted from the copycat.com site for Starbucks Pumpkin Bread and makes one loaf.
Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  •  1 tsp, baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • ***can substitute 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix for nutmeg, cardamom, allspice and cloves but keep the cinnamon at 1-1/2 tsp.
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin (puree)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (do not use olive or peanut oil)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  •   1/3 cup salted pumpkin seeds mixed with 1 TB. flour (I used a product called Good Sense)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Spray a loaf pan with a non-stick spray
  • In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients and set aside
  • In another bowl whisk eggs, oil and vanilla-mix and whisk in pumpkin puree
  • Pour wet ingredients over dry and only mix till lumps are out. Do not over mix the mixture
  • In a blender or food processor pulse a few times the pumpkin seeds with flour and sprinkle evenly over the top of the bread.
  • Bake at 350 and start checking at 35 minutes using a toothpick to see if center comes clean 
  • Cool 5 minutes in a pan and invert on a wire cooling rack
Serving suggestion-the bread tastes even better with honey walnut cream cheese


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