Of pumpkin bread and parades

Program note: My annual live-blog of the Macy’s parade starts tomorrow (er, today) at 9 AM EST. That’s less than eight hours from now. Tradition demands commitment, especially (or maybe only) when it’s fun.

Because it’s also tradition to have a pumpkin muffin for breakfast while I watch, I decided to go big this year. Normally I stop by my parents’ house and pick up a bag of muffins that my mother has baked, because she’s been baking awesome pumpkin bread for years and years for the holidays. She always has a fresh batch for Thanksgiving. But this year I got her recipe, and although I still haven’t managed to get her recipes for butter cream frosting or banana bread (not because she’s unwilling to, but because any time I bring it up it’s never convenient for her to go find them), I can now make pumpkin bread.

I’ll post the recipe in a later post, pending permission to do so.

This was my first attempt baking anything from scratch, ever. I doubled the recipe, which normally covers one loaf or about six large muffins, because a 15 oz. can of pumpkin has enough for that plus a little extra, and I didn’t want to deal with wasting more pumpkin than I had to. (Also, conveniently, one bag of chocolate chips was a cup and a half, just enough for two batches.)

My intent was to make muffins only, but I only have the one muffin pan: a silicone one I had not yet used, but had ordered some time ago on Amazon. (The silicone pan stank up the house a bit when it first went in, so pro tip: when you get a new silicone muffin pan, give it a wash and then bake it for a short while to make it offgas, while no one’s around.) Since I did have some loaf pans, I decided to make a loaf with the second half of the batter.

This was also my first time using my hand mixer that I’ve had for a while; I haven’t had occasion to bake, but I wanted to have one on hand for when I finally did. I will say this is probably a crapload easier to make with a stand mixer, but it worked out well enough—especially considering that I forgot I needed to bring my butter up to room temperature before creaming.

All told, my first run at baking went fantastically well. One muffin split in half when I removed it, but it may have been a structural defect from an abnormally strong fault line of chocolate chips. The others came out fine, and when I went to remove the loaf I carefully ran a knife around the edge of the pan before turning it out, and it came out smoothly after that. The muffin that broke became my taste test, and the flavor and texture were right where I wanted them to be. I got a result every bit as good as what my mother makes.

Tomorrow: Snark and frivolity! Check back soon for the live-blog.

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About Lummox JR

Aspiring to be a beloved supervillain
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