This bread freezes beautifully, if it lasts long enough to get wrapped and out of the reach of willing tasters. The original recipe called for less cinnamon and nutmeg, but Evelyn Small says that over the years she has increased them, being partial to both spices. A friend who is a French chef argues that Americans always use way too much cinnamon, which tends to overpower whatever it's added to, but she's noticed that he always polished off her bread with no complaints.
Servings: 24 muffins
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups sugar
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 6 to 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease three 8-by-4-inch aluminum foil loaf pans or two 12-compartment muffin pans (or use paper cupcake liners).
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, spices, salt and baking soda.
In a medium bowl, combine the oil, water, pumpkin puree and eggs.
Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and combine thoroughly, making sure no unblended dry ingredients linger at the bottom of the bowl. Add the chocolate chips, if using, and stir to combine.
Divide the batter equally among the pans; muffin cups should be two-thirds full. Bake the loaves for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or the top of the loaves are springy to the touch. (Muffins will take about 40 minutes.) Let cool completely before cutting and storing.
Adapted from Evelyn Small, a contributing editor of Book World.
Tested by Evelyn Small.
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