Pumpkin Bread!

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It finally feels like Fall with the colder weather. I love lighting my candles almost every night! It’s as close as I’ll get to a fireplace.

I love the change in seasons so much because with each season brings new ingredients to use in baking and cooking. The Fall is one of my favorite times of the year because of all the pumpkins, apples, and squash. This means warm apple pie, apple crisp and cobbler, apple cider, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, and…pumpkin bread!

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This recipe is not an original but one my mom has made for a long time. It comes from a cookbook called Recipes for Life. I’m not sure exactly where it came from but it’s been well loved as the pages are yellowing and the cover is falling off.

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This recipe is so easy to make and so worth the time! The bread is so moist and full of pumpkin flavor. It’s definitely a family favorite! It does make quite a bit, but it freezes well or you could give it away to friends and family!

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Ingredients

3 ½ cups AP flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

 

3 cups sugar

1 cup oil

2/3 cup water

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

4 eggs

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare the 3 medium loaf pans by greasing them and dusting with flour. Set aside for later.
  3. In a bowl, add the AP flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In a mixer using the paddle, add the sugar, oil, and water. Mix until combined.
  5. Next, add the pumpkin, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until combined.
  6. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix until the batter is smooth.
  7. Divide the batter between the 3 greased and floured medium loaf pans.
  8. Bake for about 55 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

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I hope you get a chance to make it!

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Enjoy!

 

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Apple Butter!

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Nothing says Fall like homemade apple butter. I’m so glad I finally had some time this weekend to make it! It’s super easy to make and quite delicious! Once all the peeling and chopping is done, let your crockpot take over and just enjoy the awesome smells as thy permeate your house!

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I usually freeze it once it is made or give it away to friends and family. I’ve never done any canning before, but I would like to learn one day.

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It’s so good on toast, bagels, scones, English muffins, or even in oatmeal, maybe even ice cream, although I’ve never tried it. The picture above is what will soon be apple butter just at the start of the cooking.

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This picture is after about 5 hours of cooking.

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And this picture is after going a total of approximately 18 hours because I ended up letting it cook on low overnight. I know it looks quite gross, but once it gets pureed in the blender, I promise you it is amazing!

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The apple cider I used in this recipe is my absolute favorite! I get it from my local farmer’s market. They don’t pasteurize it, they freeze it. This means you only have about a week to drink it or put some of it in apple butter. I’ve also made some awesome apple cider pancakes to help use it up. Wherever you get your apple cider from, as long as it’s your favorite, it will work for this recipe.

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Apple butter is complete! It is so smooth and full of apple flavor! Gosh, I love Fall!

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I had made Irish Soda bread awhile ago. Since it has raisins and cinnamon in it, I decided to toast it and spread some apple butter on it. Mmm. Mmm. So good!

Ingredients

4 lbs. peeled and diced apples (Fuji and golden delicious. Use 50/50 of each–2 lbs. Fuji, 2 lbs, golden delicious)

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups apple cider

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. cloves

¼ tsp. nutmeg

 

Directions

  1. Peel and dice apples. Place in crockpot. Use your favorite apples. I prefer golden delicious for just about anything I make that uses apples.
  2. Add the brown sugar, apple cider, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to the apples. Stir it all together.
  3. Turn crockpot on high for about 4-5 hours. Turn down to low until you’ve reached the 12-hour mark. I leave it on overnight because the time I get to the apples being in for 12 hours, it’s the middle of the night.
  4. Puree in a blender until smooth. Can or freeze.

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Enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from a recipe for apple butter from the Food Network Kitchen.

Honey Wheat Bread

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I’ve been making this wheat bread since my senior year of high school. It’s so good! I can’t seem to go back to buying wheat bread from the store. It just doesn’t have the same flavor. That’s is how I feel about any homemade bread versus store bought. It does take some time as it does with any homemade bread, but it freezes well and I don’t eat it very often. When I do have time, I make a loaf and then it will last at least a couple weeks.

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My family loves it and enjoys it very much! I love to make my gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches on it or a deliciously toasted Peanut Butter and Jelly!

Not only do I love freshly baked bread, but I love the process and how the dough feels in my hands. Kneading the dough is relaxing to me so it’s easy for me to make time to make this bread or any other bread. I think my second favorite bread to make is Focaccia. All the herbs, onions, and cheese are just so yummy! I want to try making pizza out of it sometime. Oh, and I have a really good English muffin recipe! They are quite amazing!!

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Above, is the milk, butter, salt, and honey being heated in the pot. It gets poured into the mixer with part of the flour and the yeast. Below is the dough after mixing in the other half of the flour. The picture on the right is the dough before it proofs.

 

 

 

Above is how to shape and form the loaf. Flatten the dough into rectangle. Fold the long ends over into thirds and roll tightly (the short side) to form the loaf. Place it in a greased large loaf pan and let it proof for about half an hour.

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The beautiful loaf after it has proofed. Below is the final product!

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Ingredients

4 ½ cups Whole wheat flour

2 Tbsp. Active dry yeast

1 ¾ cup Almond milk

2 tsp. Salt

1/3 cup Honey

2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter

 

Directions

  1. In the mixing bowl, put 2 cups of wheat flour in the bowl followed by the yeast.
  2. In a small pot, add the milk, salt, honey, and butter. Heat until butter is melted and the temperature reaches 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the mixing bowl. With the dough hook, mix on a low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn up the speed to high for 3 more minutes.
  4. Take the bowl off the mixer and add one more cup of flour. Mix in by hand with a rubber spatula. Once incorporated add another cup of flour. Do not completely mix in. Place the dough onto a lightly flour surface and start kneading. Once the flour is incorporated, it will probably be sticky. At this point add a couple tablespoons at a time until the dough forms a nice ball and does not stick. Knead by for about 5-10 minutes until it springs back when touched.
  5. Grease the mixing bowl and place the dough back into the bowl. Let it proof for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size.
  6. After the first proof, punch down the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Flatten it to rectangle, getting rid of the air bubbles. (See above pictures.)
  9. Fold one third to the center and then the last third over that like a letter. Flatten and stretch to about 6-7 inches wide. Roll tightly to form the loaf. Tuck the ends under the loaf. (See above pictures.) Place in a greased large loaf pan. Let it proof for about 20-30 minutes until doubled in size.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes and then cover with foil so the loaf doesn’t get too dark for another 15 minutes totaling 35 minutes. Adjust accordingly depending on type of oven being used. Alternatively bake to an internal temperature of 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from loaf pan and let cool on a cooling rack.

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Enjoy!