The only more exciting sign of fall than giant pumpkins (these babes were up to 1331 pounds (!) at the Allardt, Tennessee Pumpkin Festival we stumbled upon this weekend) is the warm spices in a slice of fresh pumpkin bread.
My go-to recipe is a Cooking Light one from a couple of years ago that calls for honey beer (or really any beer you have on hand). You can't really taste the beer all that much like you can in beer bread. I mostly like the recipe because it cuts back on the oil a bit and hence is somewhat better for you than your typical recipe. "Light" in no way diminishes the flavor. It's still plenty most and filled of warm fall flavors.
The recipe makes two loaves, so bring the extra to friends or freeze it for future eating. I like to pull chunks out of the freezer and pack it for an afternoon snack.
Like pumpkin? Try these pumpkin snack recipes.
Pumpkin-Honey Beer Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light, November 2008
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (I use half white and half wheat flours sometimes.)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
2 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup honey beer (or any beer) (at room temperature)
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350°.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, salt, and next 4 ingredients (through pumpkin pie spice) in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk.
Combine 1/2 cup water and flaxseed.
Place sugar, canola oil, beer, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add flaxseed mixture and pumpkin; beat at low speed just until blended. Add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Divide batter between 2 (9 x 5–inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.