Pumpkin Bread (with beer)

That is pumpkin bread with beer… stay tuned for pumpkin beer bread, and pumpkin bread with pumpkin beer… (just need several weeks to get the goods for, and to brew up the pumpkin lager (or porter… still haven’t decided!)

Is there such thing as too much beer? There sure can be if you’re brewing it up gallons at a time, and have to wait several weeks to find out if it was even worth it. (Meanwhile, while your waiting to drink it, you brew more…)

I may have mentioned that a few years back, (OK several years – before my little one was born – who’s coming up on her 6th Christmas) my wife gave me the Mr. Beer Kit, along with several different recipes to try. Basically malted grains and hops in a can – open, heat, add sugar & yeast, wait, bottle, wait, enjoy. Today I’ve finally worked through all the (old) kits.

They had a warning on them to use by summer 04, but I went ahead and tried anyhow. I could either throw them away before or after I found out if they were any good – nothing to lose but time if I tried, right? I figure that molasses, etc… doesn’t really go bad, so unopened cans of malted anything should last pretty much indefinitely. Though, I’ll still be making batches from fresh kits here on out.

As long as the fermented beer isn’t sweet or vinegary before I bottle, I should have something palatable… though I may need to kick it into high gear – as far as coming up with more recipes involving beer.

So far, most have been adequate, and some have been outstanding. Even the adequate ones were better than most of what I’d tend to get out at a bar or restaurant. But I’ve got to say, I haven’t felt the need to buy much beer – as I’ve got quite a bit – though sometimes lacking in selection.

Some have been fine, once they’ve reached the proper levels of carbonation – some have improved over time, others have changed – neither for the better or worse, just changes. The Apple Ale has proved the exception. It’s devolved a bit, once light and drinkable with food, now it’s tolerable. It’s darkened. Got a stonger taste to it. Not altogether bad, just different. Perhaps it finally became what it was meant to be, but not exactly as described. I guess I just liked it a little premature. This has long been earmarked for cooking with anyway, and today (with a cool enough kitchen) it finally got it’s chance to redeem itself.

My mothers recipe – given to her from a friend, currently a baker of wedding cakes and such – has been the recipe I’ve grown up on. I’ve looked online for others, to see how I could better incorporate the beer without any negative effect (and to also use up at least a bottle per loaf) no luck there, so I just went back to basics and crossed my fingers.

The verdict – Redemption! I’m going to be making a heck of a lot of pumpkin bread. Hopefully I don’t get sick of it! Having already eaten half a loaf before it cooled.

This recipe yields 3 loaves (I must have big pans, because mine have always come out short) So any extra leavening from the beer wouldn’t be a bad thing. It was in fact, just the ticket.

  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon (heaping)
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Allspice or Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cloves
  • 1 Cup finely chopped nuts (nuts are always optional with kids in the house…)*

Mix above in bowl, add wet in well in center:

  • 1 can pumpkin or squash puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 Cups Cold Water (Homebrewed Dutch Apple Ale, or any appropriate Beer you have on hand)
  • 1 cup oil (canola, crisco..) I used grapeseed – use what you’ve got (but not olive oil)

Mix, pour into greased and floured pans, split evenly among 3 pans.  1/2 to 2/3rds full

bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean. Or as Gramma says, when you can smell it, it’s done.

*come to think of it, I’ve typically left out nuts in recipes (at least I used to, so taking out an entire cup full of an ingredient may have been why my loaves were shorter than moms. – but I still think it’s the pans. 

Before the cable company came and took our channels away – no more Food Network ;(  (don’t really care about the rest), I remember Alton Brown talking about was using stocks or juice instead of water – they bring more flavor to the party – so perhaps there are lots more simple recipes I can just work beer into… Soups, sauces, salad dressings… well, maybe not.

While in France I did learn how to make crepes using beer instead of milk – though that was just 1/2 a can per batch. still have 4+ quarts of Apple Ale left to use up, and in the coming weeks I’ll have 7 Quarts (each) of a Higher Alcohol Red Ale, and a similarly made, high alcohol Belgian Witbier to cook with, and/or drink.

I’ll welcome any thoughts and suggestions… maybe this will end up turning into “the cooking with beer blog”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😉

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About Scott

I am a son, brother, husband and father, and I am (or have been and enjoyed being) A student of science, art, and humanities in the states and abroad. A graphic designer, art deparment manager, and an art director. A woodworker, home renovator & preservationist. Vegetarian, organic gardener, cook. Photographer, cartoonist. Runner, judoka and fencer. An actor, writer, director and producer for a student run (but not school affiliated or sponsored) local access variety show. A uomo universale in training! In my spare time I like to read, watch movies and look for other creative pursuits and new inspirations!
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3 Responses to Pumpkin Bread (with beer)

  1. connie says:

    no, there is no such thing as too much beer. or bread. and brewing is such fun, I agree… my boyfriend does it and so i get to ‘taste test’ several bottles before he distributes them to friends {someone has to suffer the difficult task of testing!} and now that its time for pumpkin-stuff… yum!

  2. Steve says:

    that sounds absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Out of curiosity, what size can of pumpkin puree should I use?

  3. Scott says:

    Connie – sounds like a tough role you have to play!… I’ll be sampling my pumkin beer in the coming week(s). Technically it’s ready after a week, but 3 weeks seems to add a little more magic.

    Steve – the ones that are a wee bit under 16 oz will do. I think mine was 15.5? give or take an ounce or two shouldn’t make any difference.

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