I’m totally going to get a reputation for being a terrible baker. I posted a few months back about my tres leche cake gone wrong, now I’ve gone and made some terribly ugly bread. We’re going to learn what went wrong together, readers. Learn from my atomic pumpkin loaf of shame.
Santa brought me a breadmaker, by which I mean there was one on sale for $15 on black Friday. The first loaf I made was gorgeous. It had a golden brown, flaky crust and the inside was as light as air. I was breadmaster of the universe, able to create loaves worthy of magazine covers, or in my mind, a series of smug blog posts about my lovely masterpiece breads and bread related creations. So of course I got cocky.
I found a recipe in the breadmaker user manual for a sweet bread with bananas and pecans. I didn’t have any bananas, so I used canned pumpkin instead. This brings us to valuable lesson #1.
Pumpkin is much wetter than banana.
I also measured sloppily, which brings us to valuable lesson #2.
Forgetting to use the exact measurements will bite you in the ass every time. Seriously, there’s science going on when you bake. Mess with science, get this:
Just in case you don’t have the full effect, here’s another view:
It is well documented in this blog that I am addicted to pumpkin flavored stuff. I had visions for this bread. I was going to smear it with Nutella, people. I was going to make pumpkin French toast. There was potential for little individual bread puddings with the end crusts. These were not meant to be, as I got sloppy and created Frankenstein’s loaf. I could almost hear Alton Brown, Grand Poobah of Foodery and Science, tsking at me from his spectacular TV kitchen.
I knew right away the bread was too wet. I had added a good bit of flour to the knead cycle, but when the bread finished baking the top was smooshed against the glass window and it was covered with a layer of steam. The underside of the lid was baked into the bread, so I used a wooden spoon to gently coax the top away from the machine. A skinny pancake turner loosened the sides, and a good whack on the bottom of the bread pan made the loaf fall out. The kneading tool was still embedded in the bread.
I let it set for a minute or two before slicing. The inside of the bread was full of tall, flat air pockets and was unevenly colored. The slices are shaped a bit like tilted mushroom clouds, which combined with the awkward shades of orange creates a piece of bread Tim Burton might conceive of feeding to a sad child. I took a bite for the team and it was pretty terrible.
I know we have a lot of great cooks around here, how can I make a tasty pumpkin bread in my bread maker?