It’s that time of year when I crave spring, but there seems to be no sign of its arrival. I know warmer weather is around the corner, but the biting cold reminds me that it’s definitely still winter. During these gray days, I find solace in baking comforting, warm, sweet treats.
William Blake, English painter and poet once said, “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” So enjoy, I will. My kitchen, smelling of butter, sugar and the remaining pumpkin puree that’s been preserved since the fall harvest is much more inviting than the wind and snow outside. And this recipe with rich molasses and winter spices makes everything seem just a little warmer.
Winter Spice Bread
Yields 1 loaf
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup applesauce
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons molasses
½-1 cup mix-ins such as chocolate chips or chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, salt, sugar, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Then, whisk in the pumpkin puree, applesauce, water and molasses. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated (but avoid over-mixing!). Fold in the chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (if using).
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for 5-10 minutes and carefully remove it from the pan. Place the loaf on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve with butter and a freshly brewed cup of coffee.
Quick Tip: For a little extra sweetness, drizzle the loaf with a simple glaze.
** recipe, styling and photos by Sarah Hauser for Bright Bold and Beautiful