My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Bread

Pumpkin Pie Bread. It tastes like fall. The spicy flavor of pumpkin pie spices mingled with a quick bread that is slightly sweet. One of the best sweet breads ever! Honestly, I am not a big fan of pumpkin pie. Usually, I will skip it at the dessert table. But...pumpkin pie bread or a good pumpkin cookie...I can scarf down my share of those! This is one of those wonderful breads that you can serve for brunch or dessert. I know my boss loves pumpkin bread with nuts and since it was her birthday, I made her the gluten free pumpkin pie bread with walnuts & no glaze + I made a small bundt size with the glaze drizzled over some slices to share with co-workers. I was pleased with the results. No one could tell it was gluten free.

This is the recipe that my mom has always used. I have no idea where she got the original recipe. I have tried other recipes but the flavor isn't the same and they seemed to be dried out. This is a dense, moist bread that packs a lot of flavor. This is one of those recipes that was easy to convert to gluten free because you can easily use some of the heartier flours that I normally don't use in my gluten free baking. Some of the flours have an after taste that that I don't care for in sweets. (Reminds me of pea pods.) This recipe however will with stand the store bought gluten free flour and actually bakes best with it & there is no strange after taste at all! I  have also used my own gluten free flour blend in this recipe with good results. I will post that flour blend below in case you want to make your own flour blend. If you do not have a gluten allergy, you can substitute regular flour in this recipe like my mom does!

I usually make this recipe just like the basic one - plain or with walnuts. However, you can add dried cranberries, dates, raisins, pecans or whatever you would like in your sweet bread. You can also make a glaze that can be drizzled over the top. My mom always made it either plain or with walnuts and that is my personal favorite. However...I have been known to dress up imperfections with a glaze. Nothing worse than taking a loaf out of the pan too soon and it cracks or slices ugly. Quick fix: Glaze! A glaze drizzled over the top easily fixes mistakes - it draws the eyes away from imperfections. (Oh no....I am giving away my secrets! Now every time you see me bring something to a party with a glaze you will know I screwed it up somehow!)

Pumpkin Pie Bread Recipe:
  • 3 cups sugar (can use raw sugar which works great in this recipe)
  • 1 cup softened butter or margarine or 1 cup oil (Note: you can substitute 1/2 cup applesauce + 1/2 cup oil to reduce the fat) DO NOT USE LIGHT MARGARINE OR BUTTER. The bread will not rise correctly.
  • 4 eggs (or substitute egg beaters)
  • 1 can (15-16 oz) pumpkin puree (do not use pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour in today's recipe because I had some in my pantry. However, you can use my gluten free flour blend below instead. I have used it in this recipe and it works great also)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (finely ground)
  • 4 tbs. pumpkin pie spice (the original recipe only calls for 2 tbs but I like more flavor)
  • 1 tbs. ground cinnamon (I personally prefer Saigon roasted cinnamon but regular cinnamon works fine too!)
  • 1/2 cup water or coffee (I generally use water because my family doesn't care for the taste of coffee. Although the flavor is can still taste it sometimes)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or dates, optional (I generally don't add these because so many people don't care for them in breads and they can be expensive if they aren't on sale)
Mix the sugar, oil, eggs & pumpkin puree. Add pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Gradually add the remaining ingredients. Don't over mix. Pour into two greased loaf pans or one bundt pan. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan(s) for at least 30 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling. Store in airtight container or wrap in foil or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. 

This recipe can easily be baked in empty metal cans (like baked bean cans or metal coffee cans that don't have the narrow lip on them - which are getting harder to find! Baking in cans allows you to bake more loaves at one time in your oven. The cylinder shaped breads are so cute to wrap in plastic wrap & bow for holiday gift giving + the round slices look fantastic on a party platter! You don't need fancy mini loaf pans to make cute loaves. Just be sure to spray the cans with cooking spray & only fill the cans a little more than halfway full so they can rise without overflowing into your oven! If making smaller loaves, check your bread after 40-45 minutes of baking to see if they are done. You can also bake this recipe in muffin tins but cooking time with be only about 15-20 minutes. (Muffins or sliced bread (individually wrapped) freeze great for a quick morning breakfast or afternoon snack!)

This recipe actually tastes better 1-2 days later after spices have blended. It also slices best when slightly chilled. This makes an awesome recipe when you need to bake something in advance but need it to taste fresh. This bread also freezes very well. The recipe can also be cut in half for 1 loaf. (You can freeze the extra pumpkin puree if you aren't going to use it right away for something else).

Brown Butter Frosting (optional - this recipe is delicious without the frosting also)
  • 1/2 stick real butter
  • 4 tbs. milk 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
In a saucepan, melt the butter, milk, pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon) and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly and then whisk in the powdered sugar. It should have a light brown/tan color. Drizzle over cooled bread or bundt pan if desired.

Gluten Free Flour Blend Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour (I used sweet rice flour for this batch)
  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour (made from sticky rice, gluten free)
  • 1 cup soy flour or sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk, make sure it is very fine in texture
  • 1 cup corn starch or tapioca starch (I used corn starch for this batch)
  • 3 tbs. xanthan gum
Combine all ingredients together well. I store mine in a glass container and use it in place of regular flour in all my recipes. This particular blend I really like for quick breads. It holds the texture well and doesn't crumble. (I usually don't use this recipe in cookies because I don't normally care for the flavor of  soy or sorghum flour but you can't taste it in this recipe). The texture and flavor was just as good as the original gluten version.

Served with Cool Whip (My husband's version)

Bundt version, sliced with frosting drizzle
Bunt version cooling in the pan

Loaf version

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