I kind of have two, so I'm giving a shout-out to Amanda as well as my boss Lori. I have a fantastic boss (and, who am I kidding, a great department, too!) and I do not take that for granted one bit. I'm sure every single one of you knows how hard it is to find someone in management who actually does his/her job well, cares about the people he/she oversees, and encourages creativity while not afraid to rein you in if needed. I've been in this environment for almost 18 months and I can't wait to go to work every morning. I know I have a boss who truly cares about me, one I'm not afraid to go to if I have ideas, suggestions, or opinions to voice, and I know she will back me up if and when I need her.
Last year at our End-of-Summer-Reading meeting, she brought in her pumpkin bread to share with her worn-out, stretched thin staff. (Yes, last year's SRP was insane....and next year's might be too. This year's was smooth-sailing, but I digress.)
And this bread is AWESOME.
Are you ready for what I'm about to share?
I am not a pumpkin fan. [GASP]
I know. Never have been. I love everything fall, except the taste of pumpkin. I avoid pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving like it's the plague. (However, last Thanksgiving I realized fennel IS the plague and must be forever avoided. Mama, none of that this year!) I don't drink pumpkin spice lattes nor like anything pumpkin-flavored. That was until last year when I tried my boss' pumpkin bread. Mainly because she's my boss and I was being social and polite. I'm so happy Mama raised me right! We had a "one-bite" rule in our house.
I admit, this bread wasn't too sweet and the pumpkin wasn't overpowering. It was perfect. Thanks to my boss, I now like pumpkin. I'm still not a huge fan and won't be ordering Pumpkin Spice Lattes over Caramel Apple Ciders or asking anyone to pass the pumpkin pie anytime soon. But this bread, yes, I like. I even put pumpkin in my morning porridge and added some to my Earl Grey latte. Mmmmm.
What I really enjoy about this pumpkin bread recipe is how moist it is. I do not like dry, crumbly bread. No thank you. The applesauce really gives it the texture I desire, and I think enhances the pumpkin flavor. (And, of course, the following recipe includes my subtle substitution: cutting the sugar in half and doubling the vanilla extract....instead of vanilla I used vanilla almond milk. Soooo good.)
*slightly adapted from my boss' recipe
Yields: 2 loaves (16 slices)
3 1/2 c flour (mixture of regular and whole wheat pastry flours)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cloves
1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 c sugar
2 cups packed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup water2 tsp vanilla almond milk
Preheat over 350 degrees. Butter and flour to loaf pans and set aside. In a large bowl, sift flour, soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves together. Mix together the rest of the ingredients until well combined. Add the dry to the wet in two batches, mixing well in between. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Per slice: 173 calories, 4 protein, 18 sugar, 4 fiber
It's perfect with a giant mug of coffee!
With Love and God Bless,