Quick-breads are a winter staple. I always make two at a time and stick one in the freezer; it's the perfect thing to pull out last-minute on a Friday afternoon and eat that night for dinner. As I understand it, a quick-bread is basically a of bread/cake that uses baking soda or powder as the main rising agent, instead of yeast. This means quick-breads do not need to rise for long periods of time -- hence quick-bread. yea.
While zucchini and carrot variations are both in my repertoire, pumpkin is my all-time favorite -- especially this version. My mom and I found this recipe on Epicurious a while back, and haven't tried a new one since. It's an oil-based recipe, so not only is it healthier than those butter-heavy pumpkin breads, it also develops a wonderful, sizable crust that most quick-breads don't have. (Check out the crust on this sucker!)
Other recipes call for cranberries and walnuts (this recipe lists walnuts as optional), but having made it with both and other things, I can tell you it's best just as is. It's the perfect "serve one, freeze one" treat.
Spiced Pumpkin Bread from Epicurious
makes 2 loaves
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.