Chocolate Pistachio Pumpkin Bread
November 4, 2011
Now that I have pumpkin purée after my adventure roasting a pumpkin from Munson Farms, one of the first things I wanted to do with it was make pumpkin bread. I make banana bread quite often, but pumpkin bread is a little less common, since I don’t usually have pumpkins sitting around on my counter going bad as is standard operating procedure for bananas. But now it was time for pumpkin bread!
Chocolate is always a good thing in quick bread, so of course that was going to be an ingredient. But as I was thinking about how good pumpkin and chocolate would taste, pistachios popped into my head. Hmmm…I liked the sound of that! And as it turns out, it is a pretty tasty combination.
As I mentioned in my post on chocolate banana bread, I’ve had issues in the past with quick breads turning out fairly dense and overly moist. I did a little research on high altitude adjustments for problems with quick bread, and was rewarded with the completely non-helpful assertion that this could be due to the dough being too moist, too dry, or over-mixed. The over-mixed idea obviously gave me something to go on, but too most OR too dry? Seriously? Thanks a lot, internet. But I tried a few things, and this actually turned out to be the best-textured quick bread I’ve made for quite a while. I ended up using a bit less baking powder than usual, and a bit more milk. The other change I made was to add all the flour at one time, rather than gradually, which as far as I know is totally the wrong way to do it, but it seemed to work, so…I guess I’ll do the same thing next time.
This was so quick to throw together, I made it after working out in the evening, just a couple hours before going to bed. The vast majority of the time it took was actual baking time. The fat in this bread comes from the chocolate and the pistachios (with a trivial amount from the flour), so one slice has about 3 grams of fat, technically making it low-fat.
I would add one note – the fresh pumpkin gives it a decidedly (although hardly surprising) fresh pumpkin taste. If you like a brighter, pumpkiny taste (along the lines of a sweet winter squash), then use fresh pumpkin. If you want the taste to be more mellowed, like pumpkin pie, then you might want to use canned. My husband and I really liked the fresher pumpkin taste, but it was definitely different than bread made from cylindrical pumpkin.
Chocolate Pistachio Pumpkin Bread
(recipe for 5400 ft altitude – lower altitude substitutions below)
makes 16 slices
1+3/4 c pumpkin puree (or 1-15 oz can pumpkin)
4 oz applesauce
1/4 c plain yogurt
1/4 c skim milk
1 c sugar (or 1/2 c sugar + 1/2 c erythritol)
2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
1+1/2 oz pistachios, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 sprinkles cloves
1 sprinkle nutmeg
2 c flour (I used white whole wheat)
1+1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the first 12 ingredients well (up through nutmeg). In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and baking soda well to distribute the baking powder and baking soda evenly. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix only enough to incorporate all of the flour in the batter. Spray 2 small loaf pans (or 1 large one) with cooking spray (or rub with butter). Transfer batter to pans, and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Cover loosely with foil if the bread browns too much on the top before it’s done in the middle.
For lower altitudes: use a full 2 tsp baking powder, 2+1/4 cups sugar, and bake at 350 degrees.