Friday, November 03, 2006

Praline Pumpkin Date Bread

Today I taught cooking to my class, and it was scary because all the kids were having a difficult day staying focused and stuff, but we eventually got everything mixed and baked. We made Praline Pumpkin Date Bread, from Betty Crocker. It is a simple recipe. It easily made two huge 9" loaves. We omitted the dates because the kids wouldn't have liked them (or raisins). Don't skimp on the praline topping because it is sooooo good.

I liked the bread but I liked the topping more. The kids all liked the bread even though they were put off a bit by the idea of eating pumpkin that wasn't in pie form, and the teachers seemed to enjoy it as well. I would make this again in a classroom setting, but I doubt I'd make it again on my own since there are better (albeit more complex) pumpkin bread recipes out there.

Praline Pumpkin Date Bread
Praline Topping
1/3cup packed brown sugar
1/3cup chopped pecans
1tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
Date Bread
1 2/3cups granulated sugar
2/3cup vegetable oil
2teaspoons vanilla
4eggs
1can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2teaspoons baking soda
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon baking powder
1/2teaspoon ground cloves
1cup chopped dates

1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches, with shortening. Note: I used cooking spray.

2. Mix all Praline Topping ingredients until crumbly; set aside.

3. In large bowl, mix granulated sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin. Stir in remaining Date Bread ingredients except dates until well blended. Stir in dates. Pour batter into pans. Sprinkle with topping.

4. Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing.

Yield: 2 loaves

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