Adaptation: Pumpkin-Walnut Bread
If you have not seen it already, I highly recommend seeing the movie Adaptation. Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, and Nicholas Cage are in it, which tells the quality of the film. And I just realized that Spike Jonze directed it. Long story short, this movie shows the painstaking process of adapting a book into a screenplay.
About now you are probably saying to yourself, "Anali, what does that movie have to do with this tantalizing bread that I'm feasting my eyes upon?"
Well, a lot more than you might think. I wanted to make something with pumpkin tonight, so searched for some recipes. I found this muffin recipe on epicurious.com and adapted it.
A couple of the changes were because I realized I didn't have some ingredients in the house. Usually I always have molasses on hand and I thought I had purchased some cloves. Unfortunatley, when I looked in my cabinets and spice rack, they were not there, so I added some more pumpkin to make up for the moisture of the molasses and more sugar to substitute for the sweetness. I added more of the other spices to compensate for the lack of cloves.
I used brown whole-wheat flour instead of white. I don't buy regular milk or buttermilk, I use vanilla rice milk. I increased the amount of milk to add some additional moisture because of the wheat flour. I added a little bit of baking powder* to make up for the denseness of the flour. I was a little nervous with this change, because I was messing with the science, which can cause problems with baking.
And I decided that I didn't want muffins, but would prefer a loaf, so I changed the cooking time to 50 minutes. I'm happy to report that the changes worked! This bread is pretty good. I randomly bought dates and walnuts yesterday, so the recipe wasn't as far off as it could have been. The dates added some nice sweetness and texture that I found quite pleasant. I probably could have used raisins instead, but I like dates, in both senses of the word. And with that, let me share with you my newly adapted recipe.
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup vanilla rice milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter and combine all ingredients. Pour mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.
* I just realized that I read part of the original recipe wrong. There was supposed to be 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder. I completely missed seeing that before. So my adding what I thought was extra baking powder is probably what saved this recipe from being a disaster. Whew!