Bacon Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Bacon, pumpkin, pasta, cheese - any questions?
It’s the moooooost wonderful time of the year… pumpkin food season, am I right?
Since it has gotten to be recognizably fall, I’ve been doing as much as one pumpkin or squash recipe per week. We’ll see how long I can keep this up
But seriously, what is it about this stuff? It is the holy grail of fall cooking. It makes its way into our savory dishes, our baked goods and even our coffee! At the beginning of September, my boss and I scheduled a meeting (yeah, it was even in our Outlook calendars) to go to Starbucks and get a Pumpkin Spice Latte the first day they were available (and now there is supposedly A SHORTAGE? What are we gonna do?!) Make more pumpkin bread, that’s what. Read on.
This recipe is based on one from the Whole Foods blog, but I changed it up a bit – first of all I think it’s really tough to make a truly only whole-wheat bread, so I subbed a little AP in. And, as I have mentioned before, I like to add my own mix of spices rather than Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Something really nice about this recipe – it’s not actually too sweet, so it’s more of a breakfast bread than a dessert.
Here’s what you need:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup AP, unbleached flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cane sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
It looks like a lot of ingredients, but I promise almost all of them are things you already have. The one you might want to grab on your way home is the wheat germ – I found it at Target with the hot cereal. If they have it, I’m sure a regular grocery store would too.
Like so many quick breads, this one uses the muffin method! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard 8-inch loaf pan. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the sugar, oil, honey, milk, pumpkin, egg and vanilla. (TIP: Measure the oil in a liquid measuring cup, then add to the mix. Without cleaning it, measure the honey next – the residual oil on the side of the glass will help the honey slide right out and not be a huge sticky pain). Mix just until totally combined.
Stir the flours, wheat germ, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a separate vessel, and add them to the wet ingredients. Fold in until just combined, and then transfer to loaf pan. Bake about 45-50 minutes, then check for doneness with a toothpick. It may take a few more minutes – keep checking every 5 until it is done.
Remove from the oven and let cool for about fifteen minutes on a wire rack, then remove from the pan to cool the rest of the way. Remember – it’s important not to dive into this until it’s actually cool or the structural integrity will be compromised. I recommend having some kind of alternate snack on hand, because it will be verrrrrry tempting