‘Tis the season for pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin all over the place. I haven’t done enough “fall” things yet, so I’m trying to make up for that by squeezing in as much pumpkin as I can in my life. No visit to the Farmers Market…pumpkin latte. No visit to Brown County to see some pretty leaves…pumpkin pudding. No camping…pumpkin bread & pumpkin beer! Okay so I still need to go camping. Food & beer can’t fill that void. But I’ll do my best. Anyways…
I’m a little underwhelmed by this bread standing on its own, but stay with me here. I mean it’s a very good beer bread-it’s soft, chewy, yeasty. It reminds me of a lighty yeasty Belgian ale, actually. But with the pumpkin barely detectable, it wasn’t what I was expecting – I definitely should have used something more flavourful for it. As there is no pumpkin spice or pumpkin puree – the only pumpkin we’re relying upon is the pumpkin in Buffalo Bill’s. And as the pumpkin in that ale is soft and understated (part of why I like it), it doesn’t lend itself to giving a lot of flavor in a bread recipe. I think that if I used something like Southampton Pumpkin or Dogfish Head Punkin’, then we would get more flavor in the bread, and I would have included a little pumpkin spice as well. But all isn’t lost, because the pecans are divine in this, and the crust is so delightful. But you know what really brings it a step up? Cream cheese. Oh yes. Cream cheese + beer bread + pumpkin ale. That’s a meal right there for me.
That is all to say that having the Buffalo Bill’s with the bread is a good combination, because the pumpkin that is lacking in the bread is made up for in the ale. And if you don’t think Bill’s pumpkin has enough meat to it, or leaves you wanting more, the heaviness of the bread will provide that for you. It is one of my favourite pumpkin ales, as it is simple with understated spices, and it is a clean, light, and crisp transition from light summer ales to heavy winter beers. But it has it’s time and place, and I’m already craving something that will have more than enough flavor to slap me directly in the face. Suggestions?
Pumpkin Beer Bread
prep time: 5 minutes | bake time: 50-55 minutes
recipe adapted from the amazing amazing genius at A Cozy Kitchen
3 C all-purpose flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 T sugar
1/2 t + a dash cinnamon
1/2 t + a dash ground ginger
a pinch of ground cloves
a dash ground nutmeg
3/4 C chopped pecans
one 12 oz bottle of pumpkin ale
1. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, spices, and nuts in a large bowl together.
2. Make a “well” in the middle of the flour mixture, and pour beer in directly. It’s going to foam up a LOT!
3. Fold the dry ingredients in until you can’t see any more flour.
4. Spray Pam or wipe oil into a 5×9″ loaf pan, and put the bread mixture into the pan. Spread around if you want, but I like the messy look!
5. Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees, and make sure that a toothpick inserted comes out clean.