Food Column: How to make a killer pumpkin loaf
By Kourtney Meldrum, Food Columnist
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/3 cups Bisquick™ Original baking mix
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (or desired mix-ins)
If you’ve stepped outside recently you may have noticed that the air feels a little crisper, the leaves are no longer a vibrant green but rather hues of ochre, orange, and red, and people are beginning to don their oversized blanket scarves and little suede booties. Is this just the change in temperature you may ask? No you see, these are the signs of a change in season – welcome to fall, the season of the pumpkin.
When it comes to autumn, the round little orange squash is king. Starbucks knows it, and so does every Pinterest craft dedicated to the season. It seems that as soon as we flip the calendar into September everything that can be pumpkin spiced, is. So what’s better than to celebrate the changing of the leaves than some autumn inspired baking?
For me it wouldn’t truly be fall until I’ve baked at least one of my Betty Crocker One- Pan Pumpkin Loafs. The recipe is practically fool-proof as I’ve supervised grade one children baking it, but delicious none the less.
We begin by heating the oven to 350° F and then grease only the bottom of our 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. The loaf can also make a great festive gift if baked in a disposable pan that can be found at any dollar store and easily decorated with fall coloured ribbons post baking.
After the oven is preheated, measure out all ingredients and combine everything minus the bisquick and raisins. The mixture should be very wet, and a deep orange in colour. Next, stir in the bisquick and you will see the dough begin to have more substance and return to a lighter colour, similar to the canned pumpkin.
The recipe calls for raisins, but as someone who is not a fan of the dried grapes, I take this chance to personalize the recipe. I sometimes bake the loaf sans any mix-ins and allow the delicious pumpkin flavour and spices to speak for themselves. Other times I stir in dried cranberries or either mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips.
This fall however, I decided to add in my current superfood obsession with a little bit of chocolate to create a goji berry, chocolate chip, pumpkin loaf. The goji berries serve as a comparable trade-off for raisins and provide a subtle yet delicious flavour in the loaf as well as provide the extra health benefit of antioxidants. The blend with the semi-sweet chocolate chips is rich and really gives some depth to the flavour of loaf.
Once all ingredients are mixed in, the dough can be deposited into the greased loaf pan and then directly into the oven for 45 to 55 minutes. At the 45 minute mark I like to insert a toothpick into the middle of my loaf and if it comes out with no residue on it, then I know my loaf is ready. If not, I keep it in the oven a little while longer until no residue appears.
Once your pumpkin loaf is completely cooked, let it cool before taking a knife or spatula around the sides to loosen it out of the pan and let it cool completely before slicing.
This loaf is perfect for breakfast, to take on the go as a snack, or to warm up for dessert with a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream on top.
There you have your pumpkin loaf, completed in just over an hour and leaving your kitchen smelling like everyone’s fall fantasy.