Ginger Pumpkin Bread – a Holiday Gift!

I meant to post this as a holiday gift for everyone, but Xmas got in the way.

Baked goods aren’t particularly Korean, but if you use Korean pumpkin (hobak) — the small green ones with orange flesh, this makes a lovely bread with Korean overtones. This is a recipe courtesy of Denise Barr, the head chef at Hedgebrook, a writer’s colony on Washington’s Whidbey Island. This is where I kicked off my writer’s career with the support and encouragement from a residency I received in 1999.

Denise and I have been working on the “Hedgebook Cookbook,” with proceeds to benefit the program there. This is one of the many fabulous recipes that will be included in the book.

I made a bunch of loaves to give away for Christmas gifts. (All the wrappings were from recycled materials.)

Here’s the recipe, a late holiday gift for y’all!

Ginger Pumpkin Bread

Any sweet winter squash from the garden will work, but Denise prefers to use Kabocha, a bright orange squash about 6″ to 8″ in diameter. Cathy (the Hedgebrook gardener) picks them for us when the vines start withering. This is a double batch, to make 2 hearty loaves.

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups cooked winter squash or pumpkin
3-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground ginger (or fresh ginger, grated)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven 350¬?F degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add oil, eggs and buttermilk and mix well. Add the squash and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice and mix until well combined.

Pour the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the candied ginger and nuts.

Pour into two greased 5″ x 9″ loaf pans (I’ll sometimes use three loaf pans when they don‚Äôt quite measure up to 5″ x 9″). This is a dense mixture and the center won’t cook well if the batter is too deep in the pans.

Bake up to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes two 5″ x 9″ loaves. Each loaf yields 8 to 9 slices about 1″ thick.

Note: A 16-ounce can of regular pumpkin works fine as a substitute for the 2 cups of cooked winter squash.

I also doubled this doubled recipe, which was enough batter to make 8 mini loaves (as pictured above) plus one 5″ x 9″ loaf for us to eat at home.

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