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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TWD: Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Loaf

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe featured a Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Loaf.  At first, I thought this would just be another pumpkin quick bread.  Not that I have anything against quick breads (they are delicious), but they are not really all that fun to make.  They make a nice, quick snack in a pinch, but the basic method is pretty much the same for all quick breads, involving at maximum about 20 minutes to throw together.  Nothing too exciting.  I really do enjoy the involved process of baking different types of yeast breads.  You can imagine my excitement when I opened my copy of Baking with Julia and discovered that this was, in fact, a yeast bread!  And a yeast bread absolutely stuffed with all my favorite Fall flavors: pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, cranberries, raisins, and walnuts.

I did end up making a couple changes to the recipe.  For one, I could not find fresh cranberries in my grocery store.  So, I substituted a generous portion of dried.  I also could not resist adding a cinnamon-swirl to the center of the loaf.  I simply rolled out the dough to an 11x14 rectangle, brushed the surface generously with milk, sprinkled about 1/4 cup of cinnamon-sugar all over the surface, and then rolled up the loaf nice and tight.

The dough itself was a breeze to throw together.  My son even joined in by guarding the stand mixer as it slapped the dough around during the kneading process.  He was tickled pink when I let him add in the cranberries, raisins, and walnuts.  His excitement pretty quickly turned to horror when the mixer kicked up quite a bit of the dried fruit right back in his face.  After that he refused to help anymore.  Baking is just too dangerous.

I did end up making one large loaf in a 9x5" pan and this definitely changed the baking time from 35 minutes to closer to 55 minutes.  The bread rose beautifully during the baking process, producing a very tall loaf that came precariously close to touching the oven coils.  I ended up covering the pan with foil a little later than I should have...but the crust did not taste charred.

And the taste?  Superb.  The pumpkin kept the loaf perfectly moist and the sweetness level was perfect.  I cannot wait to make a couple different types of sandwiches with this bread.  This was definitely my favorite recipe from the book so far!

Thanks to Rebecca for being our host for this week.  If you would like to give the recipe a try, she has the recipe in its entirety up on her blog.  Or you could just buy the book.  It's a worthwhile investment...every recipe has been fantastic so far!


  1. Mmmm, a cinnamon swirl! I love that you made one giant loaf instead of the three mini loaves. I will definitely do that next time. That way I'll get more yumminess out of a slice!!! Yours looks divine!

  2. I love your cinnamon swirl! So beautiful!! And your photos look really great too... I agree this recipe is a keeper

  3. Gorgeous loaf! Love, love, love that swirl in the center. So pretty!

  4. I also made one giant loaf, but I didn't think to add a cinnamon swirl. That is pure brilliance!

  5. Absolutely beautiful. It couldn't be more perfect. Perfect swirl.

  6. Your bread is just beautiful! I love the swirl, it's perfect. This was one delicious bread.

  7. You have the most beautiful loaf I've seen so far. Love the swirl!! I guess I should not have pinched as I rolled...