Incredible Pumpkin Bread © 2012 Melissa. All rights reserved.

High Altitude Pumpkin Bread

This recipe has been a winner, and would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving table or a good housewarming gift for someone hosting a dinner, and would work well for anyone baking at around 3,500-6,500 feet above sea level.

Before getting to the recipe, here’s a bit about its provenance: To my surprise, my baking world was revolutionized a few years ago when I decided to take a high-altitude candy making class through CSU Extension. After the class was finished, the instructors decided to throw in a high-altitude baking course as well, and I had no idea how helpful this information would prove to would be.

I was in for another surprise that evening: my name was drawn for the door-prize–a book of recipes compiled and tested by CSU for high altitude baking. Since many recipes online and in magazines are designed to work at sea-level, and can yield problematic results at higher altitudes, this recipe book has become my go-to resource for most of my baking projects. In addition to a great array of recipes, this book offers tips to help troubleshoot favorite sea-level recipes that are not working well at high altitudes and contains valuable advice on how to adjust them.

This pumpkin bread recipe is somewhat unique in that it yields a bread with a very fine, cake-like consistency.

The figures given here are for a double batch of pumpkin bread– for me, it makes two loaves, with a bit leftover that I use for smaller treats (I have a Wilton silicone baking mold that is great for making bite-sized pumpkins). Keep in mind that the baking time varies for smaller quantities of batter– the bite-sized treats only take about 15-30 minutes to cook, depending on the pan, while the loaves like the one shown here take over an hour.

For a single loaf, reduce the amounts in this recipe to 1/2 of the numbers given here. If you are baking at high altitude, I highly recommend High Altitude Baking from the CSU Extension office!

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F, and be sure to grease both baking pans

In a large bowl, mix:
3.5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg

In a (large) separate bowl, mix
6 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1.5 cups + 6 tablespoons sugar

Beat these ingredients until light and fluffy.
To the egg/oil/sugar/vanilla mixture, add:

2 tsp vanilla
2 cups canned pumpkin

Mix these for about 30 seconds or until ingredients are incorporated.
Combine all the ingredients (add the wet to the dry) and mix for another 30 seconds or until blended.

Pour the batter into greased pans (the batter rises, so I usually fill the pans about 2/3 of the way full) and bake for 65-70 minutes (a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean). After baking, cool for 10 minutes in pan.

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