Must admit this is not a recipe I would usually make, but that is the entire reason I joined this baking group: to broaden my baking horizons. While I like pumpkin bread okay, I already have a favorite recipe. Also, neither of us care for dried fruit in our baked goods, especially not yeast breads. However, the concept of a pumpkin yeast bread was intriguing, so I decided to go for it.
Anyway, to the actual recipe, which you can check out over at the blog This Bountiful Backyard. This was another easy bread recipe, but definitely time consuming. After you make the dough, it has to rise at room temperature for a couple of hours, then go into the fridge overnight, then sit out at room temperature for four more hours, then rise for another two hours after being shaped into loaves. A number of TWD participants just skipped the fridge time and next time I make it (there will be a next time!), I will skip it as well. I'd also like to try forming the dough into balls and baking them all in a 9 by 13 pan as rolls. They would be the perfect addition to the Thanksgiving or Christmas table!
The verdict: This bread is very nice. The bit of spice is great and surprisingly, we both really like the dried fruit. Good texture, too, and perfect when cut into thick slices. I was expecting a dense bread, but it really isn't very dense. The loaf in my picture looks like it didn't rise much, but it actually rose like a champ- the recipe calls for the bread to be baked in 3 tiny pans but I used 2 big pans so my bread is small. I love how it looks- the orange bread with the yellow and red fruit is just beautiful, and it smelled wonderful both while the dough was being made and while it baked. Just like autumn!
Oh and funny side story- we adopted a stray cat from the local animal shelter last week and named him Declan. He is a very friendly, laid back guy and spent 5 hours sleeping on the couch this evening, with us periodically nudging him and rolling him over to make space for ourselves. At one point when the cat was kind of awake, my husband tried to get him to stand by lifting his side up. As soon as he let go, Declan flopped back onto his side :D Anyway, the thing that finally woke up the cat was the smell of this bread when we sat down on the couch with our slices! And boy, was he awake FAST and trying to get his fair share!
Two minutes after we ate our bread, he was back to sleeping, but the next day he yoinked a discarded heel of Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf out of the trash can!