What's Baking: Pumpkin Bread

Though I typically associate pumpkin bread with autumn, I figured there's no reason why I can't bake a few loaves now in the depths of winter!

Pumpkin Bread
makes 1 large or 1 medium and 1 small loaf

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a medium bread pan.
2. Sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the two eggs. Mix in the vanilla. Alternately add in the pumpkin and the sifted dry ingredients.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips (if desired) -- I added two handfuls of chocolate chips to the batter for my small loaf.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared bread pan(s).
6. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven, then let cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan and allow to cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

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