Maple-Spice Pumpkin Bread with Pepita Crunch

Adapted via The Flour Sack
Serves: 8 to 10

For the Bread:
♦ 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
♦ 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
♦ 1 tsp baking powder
♦ 1/2 tsp baking soda
♦ 3/4 tsp kosher salt
♦ 1 tbsp cinnamon
♦ 2 tsp freshly-ground nutmeg
♦ 1/4 tsp cloves
♦ 1/4 tsp ground ginger
♦ 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
♦  1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
♦ 1/2 cup of maple syrup
♦ 2 large eggs, room temperature

For the Pepita Crunch
♦ 2 tbsp pepita (pumpkin seeds)
♦ 1 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 5-inch loaf pan with olive oil; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, olive oil, honey, and eggs until well-combined. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk for 10 seconds, just until the flour disappears and the batter is mostly smooth (be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula, just in case).

Pour the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with the pepitas and the tablespoon of granulated sugar – bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Let the bread sit in the pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then remove bread and finish cooling on the wire rack – allow to cool for another hour. (Note – bread will keep fro 2 to 3 days at room temperature; wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap)

To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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