I made pumpkin bread using 3 recipes from celebrity chefs, and the best was the easiest to make
- I made
pumpkin breadfrom celebritychefs Carla Hall, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown.
- Hall's buttermilk-infused bread takes no time to make. Brown's method includes shredding pumpkin.
- I enjoyed all recipes, but Flay's was my favorite. It was moist and sweet with a nutty crunch.
Hall's recipe for pumpkin spoon bread had the most involved process out of all the recipes
I started by gutting a fresh pumpkin, covering it in vegetable oil, then roasting it for 30 minutes. It's important to let it cool before handling it.
While the pumpkin cooled, I started on the base by combining butter, milk, and buttermilk in a pot. I then added cornmeal and, finally, roasted pumpkin.
In a separate bowl, I whisked the egg whites until they formed soft peaks. I also separately whisked three egg yolks with spices and herbs.
I added the cornmeal to the yolk mixture, then folded in the egg whites.
I poured my batter into a loaf pan and baked my spoon bread for 40 minutes.
I loved the unexpected savory flavor of this pumpkin bread
This bread was very soft and moist in the center, similar to a savory pudding or soufflé. It was more solidified along the top, sides, and bottom.
I loved the flavor of it with all the herbs and spices, plus it was incredibly buttery.
My only real complaint is that I couldn't taste any of the pumpkin. Still, this would be delicious served with fresh greens or even a fried egg.
Flay's recipe is easy, but I had to make it twice
Instead of spending time roasting a pumpkin, he relies on canned pumpkin puree, which I almost always have in my cabinet.
He doesn't skimp on spices, either, and includes cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
I started by whisking the dry ingredients, sans sugar, in one bowl.
In a separate bowl, I combined pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, then butter that I melted and cooled so it wouldn't cook the eggs.
I slowly mixed the dry and wet ingredients together until they were fully incorporated. I folded toasted pecans into my first batch and walnuts into my second.
The recipe says to bake it in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs but doesn't give any time estimation. I started with 30 minutes and planned to bake it for about an hour.
At the 30-minute mark, a toothpick still came out slightly wet, so I decided I'd bake it in 10-minute increments until it looked done.
At about 40 minutes, the toothpick came out clean.
The recipe says to cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. But when I flipped my pan after 10 minutes, the bread collapsed into a pile of goop.
The interior was so oily from the butter and pumpkin that the toothpick came out clean even though the bread was undercooked.
I gave Flay's recipe another shot, and it turned out amazing
This time, I didn't rely on the toothpick method as much. I ended up cooking the bread for an hour and 15 minutes.
It held together well, although it did look slightly overdone.
This bread was worth making twice. It had the most prominent pumpkin flavor of the three recipes, and it was the sweetest of all, too.
Even if the second loaf was slightly overbaked, it was still moist in the middle.
The nuts added just enough crunch for a good textural contrast.
Brown's recipe includes fresh, shredded pumpkin
Aside from this and some pumpkin seeds, this recipe calls for basic pantry items and looked easy to make.
But shredding 3 cups of raw pumpkin took a lot more arm strength than I was prepared for.
After giving my hand some time to rest after shredding all that pumpkin, I mixed the dry ingredients in one bowl.
In another dish, I combined sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.
Then I poured the dry mixture into the wet ingredients, mixed them thoroughly, then folded in the shredded pumpkin and seeds.
The recipe called for a full cup of pumpkin seeds, but I only had half.
I decided to just go with it, and I'm glad I didn't add the original seed measurements.
I loved that this pumpkin bread wasn't overly sweet, but I wished there were fewer seeds in it
This turned out great and reminded me a lot of zucchini bread.
Although it had a lot of shredded pumpkin in it, it didn't have much of that flavor. I liked that it didn't taste super sweet.
The texture was perfectly moist on the inside and had a crunchy top and sides.
I did think there were too many seeds, even after cutting the recipe's listed amount in half. I think about ¼ cup would be perfect, so I'll keep that in mind the next time I make it.
I loved all three loaves of bread, but Flay's was my favorite
It's hard to choose a winner because these recipes were all very different.
I plan to make all of these pumpkin breads again, and I'm already looking forward to eating and repurposing the leftovers. Flay even has a bonus recipe for French toast using the day-old bread, which sounds like a perfect brunch.
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