Okay, so I love pumpkin bread but I feel that many recipes really use too much oil and sugar, and that results in a bread lacks texture and complexity. This pumpkin bread is different. It contains chocolate chips (yay!), golden raisins (huh?), and nuts (but only if you want your kids not to eat it). It also uses part whole wheat flour, and that lends a nice sturdiness to the bread without being dry. And you raisin snobs of the world, stop freaking out - they added a nice contrast to the bread. Just try it!
I had to eat some right out of the oven, but to be honest, this bread is better the next day. It "sets up", doesn't crumble as much, and the flavors have had time to develop. Oh, and I really don't know how many loaves it makes. I just got out 6-7 pans of varying sizes and filled them up halfway.
This recipe is adapted from CIA's Baking at Home. This is not the beauty shot I was hoping for, but trust me - it's good.
1 c. golden raisins
1 c. hot water
4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
3 1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree (about 1 29 oz can)
2 1/4 c. sugar
6 lg. eggs, room temp
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 c. mini chocolate chips (optional)
1 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If you're not at high altitude, you may want to do 375). Grease and flour your pans. Pour 1 c. hot water over raisins and let plump for at least 10 minutes.
Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and set aside. Reserving soaking liquid, remove raisins and chop roughly (this step is optional). Combine the raisins and soaking liquid, pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and oil in a large bowl and mix well.
Pour the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips if using. Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out with a few moist crumbs and sides are light golden, 25-45 minutes. (Smaller loaves will be done quicker, so keep a close eye.) Let loaves cool in the pans on wire racks for 10-15 minutes. Turn them out and continue cooling on racks before serving. Wrap in foil and give to your neighbors.