Recipe – Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

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I’ve had this recipe tagged as “experimental” in my recipe file for months but it’s time to post it. I get consistently raving feedback whenever I make it for parties and gatherings. I hope you enjoy it as well if you try making it.

Like most quick breads, this works best if you have one bowl for dry stuff and a separate bowl for wet stuff. Freshly milled whole wheat gives my bread a really nice texture but any wheat or white flour should give good results.

Preheat oven to 325F

Yield: 2 loaves (8-9″ pans) or 1 8×8 or 9×9 pan.

Dry Stuff

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (if grinding from fresh wheat berries like I do, it’s 450g of berries and you want a relatively fine grind).
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (if old, use 1/2 tsp as nutmeg loses potency quickly)
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
Wet Stuff
  • 1/2 cup honey or sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter or neutral-flavor oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups “pumpkin” puree (butternut, buttercup, and other winter squash often have more flavor than pie pumpkins)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Add-In
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (my favorite are Guittard Extra Dark 63% Cocoa, pricey but well worth it in my book)
  1. Whisk dry stuff together
  2. Whisk wet stuff together
  3. Add dry to wet, whisk until just combined.
  4. Add chocolate chips and gently mix or fold with a spatula to thoroughly combine.
  5. Grease pans and scoop batter into them.
  6. Bake at 325 for about an hour for loaves. Check for doneness with a cake tester of choice, it should remove cleanly. Allow to cool on wire racks for 15 before trying to remove from loaf pans.

If there’s anything unclear, please ask in the comments. Enjoy!

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Tart Cherry Zucchini Bread

Tart Cherry Zucchini Bread

If it were up to the other four members of the family, I’d never make any zucchini bread other than chocolate chip. It’s delicious, sweet, and decadent – but a little too much like dessert for my personal taste. Every so often I’ll experiment with variations and 2015’s series of experiments has been using tart cherries. It took a couple iterations but I think I’ve nailed it. It’s not health food but it hits the spot for me with a nice blend of sweet and tart.

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup neutral flavored oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tsp dry lemon peel. If using fresh zest, that’s about one lemon’s worth equivalent.

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Fold-in Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (or other summer squash)
  • 2 cups pitted and chopped tart cherries (fresh or frozen)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients to bowl and whisk until just combined.
  4. Fold in the remaining ingredients with a spatula.
  5. Scoop evenly into two greased loaf pans or one greased 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan.
  6. Test for doneness by inserting a skewer (should come out clean) after 1 hour, though it often takes up to 1:20.
  7. If using loaf pans, allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes before flipping the loaves out.

Zucchini Trail Bread

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This is my homage to Erica’s amazing Almond Zucchini bread. I’ve made that recipe more times than I care to mention this summer, seeing as we’ve had (wild guess) at least 50 pounds or more of zucchini from 5 plants already. I wanted to try something a bit “toothier” and with extra nutritional density, so here’s my riff on her recipe.

Yield: 2 loaves or 1 9×9 baking pan

Dry Stuff

  • 3 cups whole wheat (I like Dakota Maid or Gold Medal; DO NOT use whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Wet Stuff

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup yogurt OR scant 1/2 cup milk + a glug of apple cider vinegar to bring it to ½ cup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Add Ins

  • 3 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Feel free to try other add-ins based on what you have! Walnuts, pecans, flax meal, other types of dried fruit, and more would all work.

Directions

  1. Adjust your oven rack to the center, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease 2 loaf pans or 1 9×9 pan.
  3. Whisk the dry stuff in a large bowl.
  4. Wish the wet stuff in a separate large bowl.
  5. Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff and stir until thoroughly combined.
  6. Stir in all of the add-ins.
  7. I check for doneness with a skewer or toothpick after an hour, but it usually takes 1:15 before they are completely done.

If using loaf pans, allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove. If using a 9×9 pan, place on cooling rack until cool, then seal with plastic wrap or an airtight lid.