Mmmm…

French bread loaves cooling on my kitchen counter.  Is there anything more wonderful?

I tried a new recipe yesterday.  Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, this bread was perfect.  It took a long time but was worth the wait.    I’ll be making more today, it’s that good  (and I promise to share the recipe after I master it).

The recipe said to let the bread cool completely before slicing.  I tried.  Really I did.  And then I thought to myself, “What good is a loaf of bread that isn’t fabulous when it’s still warm?”  So I tore a piece off, it’s heat warming my fingers as steam rose from the center of the loaf.  Don’t worry, it’s fabulous warm, and therefore a keeper.  I was grateful at that moment for a large hungry family to share with, else I would have eaten too much.

As I tore pieces of the loaf to share with each member of my family, a reverent feeling crept into my heart.  The words “making home” came to mind.  That is what I’m doing.  It is such a privilege.

Hopeful Homemaker

Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread will be a nice after school snack for my children today.  Simple.  I love it.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour, divided
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tb. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
2 drops cinnamon flavoring (the kind you would put in candy)
nuts, raisins, chocolate chips or anything you may want to mix in

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and all spices.  Add pumpkin, milk, eggs and shortening.  Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended well.  Add 2 drops cinnamon flavoring.   Beat on medium or high speed for 1-2 minutes.  Add remaining cup flour and beat until blended.  Fold in nuts, chocolate chips, raisins or whatever you wish to mix in.

Spray bread pan with non-stick spray.  Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.  Makes one large loaf.

Enjoy!
Hopeful Homemaker

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

I found this recipe online a while ago, and I prefer it over plain cornbread muffins.  The pumpkin keeps them soft and moist while the cornmeal adds texture and substance.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup buttermilk  (if you don’t have buttermilk, add a Tablespoon of vinegar to regular milk and let sit a few minutes)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, toss together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. In another mixing bowl, mix with a wooden spoon, the pumpkin puree, buttermilk , butter and eggs until well combined. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture just until combined.  Spoon into greased muffin tin.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  Yields 12 muffins.

I love the recipe as is, with a subtle sweet flavor.  I like to make these as a side dish with a meal.  If you want to sweeten them up a bit, try sprinkling some raw sugar on the top of each muffin before baking.  It adds more sweetness and a hint of crunch to them.  It also looks pretty on top.

Hope you like them!
Jennifer

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