Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin-Lavendar Bread

I am hosting a Blessings Unlimited party tomorrow and I really wanted to make something different for the guests to nibble on as they look through catalogues and listen to a consultant speak.

The party is going to be outside in the fresh Fall air, making this a perfect time to start with a new pumpkin recipe!

Last night I was sitting and thinking of what to make, when I decided to combine two different but complimentary SMELLS....what goes with pumpkin? The usual: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, maple, cloves...but I thought, what about lavender?

That's it! I googled some recipes (I guess I'm not as original as I thought), and found very few, most blogs just used the same recipe over and over, I didn't like that. This had to be an original, so I made up my own.

Pumpkin-Lavender Bread

4 c sugar
1 c oil
4 eggs (you can substitute 4 tbl of flax and 1/2 of water for added fiber)
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2  salt
1 tsp Saigon cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (fresh grated is best)
1/4 c lavender
2/3 c water
1 1/2-2 c pumpkin puree (homemade is best!)
1 c chopped walnuts or raisins (optional)

1. Take a deep small bowl and pour in lavender. If you have a mortal and pestle (I don't), crush lavender until aromatic and sweet. I used a citrus zester and a bowl-same diff. Pour in one cup of the sugar into the lavender and mix. Let sit.
2. Grease 3 8x4x2 inch bread loaf pans, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
3. In your stand up mixer bowl (or a large mixing bowl), beat remaining sugar (3 c) and oil on medium speed until crumbly. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
4. In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and half a cup of lavender sugar.
5. Alternate adding flour and water to sugar mix on low speed, starting and ending with flour. Mix until just combined. Mix in pumpkin.
6. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle with a few lavender buds, and bake for 55-60mins or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool in pans 10 mins, remove and cool on wire racks completely. Eat.

This bread is very good! I loved the mingling of flavors. You take a bite and immediately taste the familiar pumpkin and nutmeg, but then comes the lavender and your senses just go, "ahhhhh". I know I'll be making this again.

* Next time, I probably would add nuts. I made my bread without walnuts (family members are allergic), but I think those would really, really made this bread sing!

The crumb texture is just right!

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