Sorry to have been such a bad MoFo participant this week...and the naughtiness continues, because today's offering is neither a WWII recipe nor even slightly austere! But it still fits with our theme, since the game-changing ingredient in this bread is from my mother's cupboard stores, which I am still working through.
A childhood of rationing and austerity (to say nothing of all that Ministry of Food propaganda about the danger of wasting anything) resulted in a lifelong propensity to stockpile all sorts of foodstuffs, and more than two years after my mother's passing, we still have - among other things - some barley, a bag of Odlum's strong flour, a huge jar of strawberry jam, several boxes of confectioner's sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, a can of marzipan, some fancy balsamic vinegar, and a frozen Tupperware of homemade lentil soup that awaits some as-yet-unknown special occasion to be eaten. (I think we'll make it through the winter just fine!)
Anyway, the crystallized ginger that makes this recipe kick so much ass was actually a gift from me; my mother loved all things ginger-flavored, but rarely splurged on treats for herself. Since she was the only person in her life she didn't compulsively overfeed, I'm not surprised she'd used this "luxury" product sparingly, and I'd forgotten all about the stuff until I was searching for something else entirely and inspiration struck. The result was the most delicious quick-bread I've ever made - sweet, spicy, and somehow "fancier" than an ordinary pumpkin loaf, with the added bonus of making me think of my mom.
Ginger Pumpkin Bread
~ 2.5 cups white whole wheat flour
~ 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1/2 tsp. each: baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger
~ 1/4 tsp. each: nutmeg, mace
~ 1/3-1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped fine
~ 1/2-2/3 cup raisins
~ 2 cups pumpkin puree (1 can)
~ 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
~ 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened soymilk
~ 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 375 degrees
~ In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the raisins and the chopped ginger last and mix them around to coat with the flour mixture (this will give them some "grip" in the batter).
~ Combine the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
~ Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the pumpkin mixture, and combine thoroughly.
~ Transfer the batter to your waiting loaf pan, and bake at
375 in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick
inserted comes out clean. (Ovens vary wildly, and mine tends to be a bit slow; just keep an eye on things!)
Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan for at least 15
minutes before slicing.