Anna at Morsels & Musings has come up with a great holiday event, Festive Food Fair. Bloggers from around the world are invited to share special foods they serve during their holidays. So, why am I showing a picture of bread and cranberry conserve? As Christmas approaches it's a tradition for me to bake bread and make jam to give people. I do make the more typical holiday fare such as cookies and cakes, but I find that people enjoy getting a simple loaf of bread as well, to make toast and sandwiches.
Several weeks ago I made tomato bread using this recipe, but substituted the pumpkin with tomato puree. It was very good, but the version that I traditionally make during the Christmas season is this recipe. It has a lovely golden color and a light texture that makes very good toast. It's faintly sweet, and goes well with spreads like cream cheese, peanut butter--and jam. It also can be made into good dinner rolls that look quite nice.
This makes three large loaves of bread. Here you see them right out of the oven. One of them was slightly misshapen on top, so I saved that for Bob and me. The other two will go as gifts to people. They also freeze very well.
I made some pear jam and cranberry conserve last week, and most will be given as gifts to eat during the Christmas season. My mother-in-law loves to eat jam and toast, so I think she will enjoy these when she visits us during Christmas. (I'll post about the jam and conserve in a few days.)
Meta Givens Pumpkin Bread (Meta Givens Modern Encyclopedia Of Cooking)
8 - 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 envelopes dry yeast (not instant)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup sugar
1-3/4 cup scalded milk
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup melted butter
Measure flour in a bowl. Sprinkle yeast into the warm water and add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and let soften for about 10 minutes. Pour the milk into a bowl (can be a Mixmaster bowl). Add the yeast and the rest of the sugar to the lukewarm milk, then add around 2 cups of flour and beat until smooth by hand or by a dough hook in a Mixmaster type machine. Then add pumpkin, the melted butter and mix until smooth. Add about 6 cups of flour and beat or knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary.
Put the kneaded dough in a clean, greased bowl, then turn so the greased side is facing up. Cover the dough with a dishtowel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled--about 1 hour. Punch the dough down, then let rise again--about 45 minutes. Turn out of the bowl and let rest for about 10 minutes. Then divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and shape each into a loaf and place each in a greased pan. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Turn the dough out and let cool on racks.