Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pumpkin Date Bread and Don't Forget the Teachers

Looking for a gift for teachers this holiday season? This recipe was inspired by my sister, Auntie Takeout as Psychgrad would call her. She shared that it's always such a challenge to find something for teachers other than the scented cream or gift card to the local drive through coffee place. I suggested we do something more creative and ultimately more practical.

The aromatic trio of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg enhances this rich-tasting quick bread. The recipe is generous; You'll end up with a loaf for brunch, one for the freezer, and one to give away. In my case I ended up with 8 mini loaves and one larger loaf.


1 1/2 cups (6 oz/185 g) broken pecans
3 eggs
4 cups sugar
1 can (29 oz/910 g) pumpkin puree
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) vegetable oil
5 cups (25 oz/780 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups (12 oz/375 g) pitted dates


Preheat oven to 350 F (180C). Butter and flour three 8 1/2x4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pans and tap out the excess flour. (I used 8 mini loaves and 1 regular size loaf pan)

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast until they begin to colour and are aromatic, 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl to cool.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until frothy. Gradually add the sugar and then the pumpkin puree, mixing well. Stir in the oil.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg. Add the dates to the toasted pecans, then stir in 1/2 cup of the flour mixture to coat. Stir the remaining flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until thoroughly combined. Fold in the pecans and dates. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared loaf pans.

Bake until the tops are browned, the loaves pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Trasfer to racks and let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes. Then turn out of the pans onto the racks and let cool completely before serving.

Adapted from The Best of the Lifestyles Series, Williams-Sonoma, Special Occasions

Note: I used less than the called for sugar and it was fine.

This is a dense flavourful loaf and the combination of pumpkin and dates is heaven.

Teachers are getting combinations of these for the holidays.

Ivy from Kopiaste is this week's host for Week 161 of Weekend Herb Blogging.

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Anonymous said...

Yum! That bread looks fantastic!

Ben said...

Pumpkin and dates, hmmm that sounds really good. I was wondering about the big loaf and the small ones on the rack. I thought it was a visual trick :)

What's Cookin Chicago said...

What a great bread for the holidays to share! It looks delicious and I like the addition of dates!

Anonymous said...

Homemade gifts are always the best! :)

kat said...

They are gorgeous little loaves

Peter M said...

I better not find any jewelry in the loaves!

These autumn spices always get me...when's coffee served?

OhioMom said...

Oh yeah .. pumpkin with dates, I like very much :) But I really love that mini bread loaf pan, have to find one of those.

Ivy said...

I love the picture of the big loaf and the smaller ones. I love dates but don't have many recipes in which to use them so this is a great idea because I have a lot of pumpkin puree in the deep freezer.

Guess what! I got the parcel with the bookmarks and other items I ordered. I couldn't believe they arrived in Greece in less than a week!!!

Thanks for participating in WHB.

NĂºria said...

Your Pumpkin Bread looks fantastic! I think I have to buy some more molds... the pumkin can wait a bit more :D
I wish I could find pecans easily... they are great!

Joie de vivre said...

Cute idea.

That Girl said...

The dates probably make it so sweet!

Bunny said...

I'm making mini loaves for gifts for gifts this year, this looks like a good bread to start with. Thanks Giz!

Gloria Chadwick said...

Your bread looks delicious.

I got the angel key chains I ordered last week. They're beautiful!!!! I'm ordering more. :)

giz said...

Ben - you kill me - I wish I were smart enough to create a visual trick :)
Peter - you caught me...darn
Ohio Mom - I've wanted that mini loaf pan forever and finally just bit the bullet - why was I waiting to spend $12???
Ivy - you're welcome
Joie de vivre - mini loaves create joie de vivre :)
That girl - yes, it's easy to cut the sugar with sweet dates
Bunny - they turn out really well
Gloria - yayyy - I'm so glad you like them
Katie - hey...long time no see, I missed you
Nuria - pecans are expensive here but easy enough to find

pam said...

Hey, I don't ever get anything this good!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I will never get tired of pumpkin and everything made with pumpkinb is AOK in my books.

Anonymous said...

I love dates, I love pumpkins...this is for me! Are these the mini, mini loaves?

grace said...

some teachers are more fortunate than others, and the ones who'll be receiving this can be counted among the lucky. :)

SYD said...

The pumpkin date bread looks great. I wonder if it wouldn't be too sweet though?

Cakelaw said...

These little loaves ook devine - I am a sucker for anything with pumpkin in, and tha dates are an added bonus (I by dates just to eat like lollies).

PG said...

Is it really 4 cups of sugar?

giz said...

The recipe actually calls for 4 cups of sugar although I only used 3 cups. The dates are sweet. For the volume 3 cups would be ok - i.e. 3 loaves so 1 cup per loaf is reasonable.

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