Much later: Canned pumpkin bread loosens easily and slices breezily. Mmm!

Don’t can in the fall?

Some of the best canning I know of happens in the fall.

I love canning quick breads to use for fancy fun, such as those delicate get-togethers where our mothers used to wear white gloves and hats, where the napkins are real and the butter is whipped and the goodies are all made from scratch.

And the tea is hot, not iced, and there is no coffee.

I love to make pumpkin bread and can it for later use. It keeps for months on the shelf, in a jar, in a pantry, without preservatives. And it tastes great, even six months later.

What I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about this bread is:

  1. The bread is round, and therefore somehow nicer.
  2. The bread is over-the-top moist.
  3. The bread is super easy to slice thin and straight if you pull it out of the jar slightly and use the rim of the jar as a cutting guide.
  4. The bread makes an amazing and welcome gift.

The trick? Just follow these instructions and have fun.

You will need:

  • A good recipe for pumpkin bread. (Mine follows.)
  • All the ingredients for the recipe.
  • Six or seven straight-sided, wide-mouth, one-pint canning jars.
  • Lids and screw bands for the jars.
  • A pan of hot water for the lids.
  • Fork or lid lifter.
  • Canning funnel.
  • Sharp, non-serrated knife.
  • A sturdy, flat pan with a rim, such as a pizza pan or jelly roll pan.
  • One damp cloth.
  • One totally dry, thick towel.
  • Plenty of pot-holders or oven mitts.
  • An oven.

You will NOT need:

  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Any other such lumpy things in the recipe, no matter how much you may love them in your bread, if you want it to keep a long time.

Instructions:

1, Collect your stuff. Set oven for 350 degrees.

Jars like these.

Jars like these.

2. Make the batter. (Recipe follows instructions.)

Batter is ready.

Batter is ready.

3. Load the jars about half full, or a bit more.

Use funnel for neatness. Neatness counts.

Use funnel for neatness. Neatness counts.

4. Place loaded jars on sturdy pan and very carefully set in oven for about 15 minutes or until done. Use toothpick test for doneness.

Ready to bake.

Ready to bake.

5. While bread bakes, prepare lids: Boil water and place lids in it, then remove from heat. Do not boil water with lids in the water. Have screw bands, mitts, and both towels ready.

Ready to can the bread.

Ready to can the bread.

6. Remove one jar from oven individually, and set on dry towel. Quickly trim bread that has risen beyond top of jar with sharp knife. Quickly wipe rim free of crumbs and grease with damp towel and add lid and screw band.

Risen too tall. Trim.

Risen too tall. Trim.

Hide trimmings in your tummy!

Hide trimmings in your tummy!

7. Repeat with each jar, individually. Jars should seal almost immediately.

THE END.

THE RECIPE:

Sift together into large bowl:

3 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups sugar

Quickly add, and stir in only until dry ingredients are moistened:

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup melted butter
2/3 cup water

Proceed with instructions above to can pumpkin bread.

IMPORTANT!: Do not add nuts or raisins or any other chunks, if you want this bread to keep a long time. Chunks will not become hot enough to be sterile, in this situation.

We are going to love fall this year!

Much later: It loosens easily and slices breezily. Mmm!

Much later: It loosens easily and slices breezily. Mmm!

(This post listed on “My Hot Kitchen” . Lots there to drool over…)

 

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Katharine is a retired home educating mom who writes about all things “woman”, from a Godly viewpoint, here on this site, and at The Conquering Mom.  Her writing appeared in several magazines for 15 years, and she is currently working on several books. She loves to write, speak, teach, cook, garden, spoil her hennies, and watch old movies with popcorn.

As Promised: Sour Dough Bread

My facebook friends have asked me how I do this, so here goes!

What I love about this bread recipe is that the steps are spread over two days, leaving me time to do many other things, such as laundry or shopping, between steps. It’s just more convenient for the way I live and operate. It’s also very forgiving; I once fell asleep while it was rising and it did not run everywhere, but just kept rising slowly. I guess for my slow ways, it’s just my type. Enjoy!

Sour Dough Starter

Sour Dough Starter. See how high it foamed in bowl!

First the sour dough starter:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups water
1 pkg. dry, active yeast

Stir together with wire whip in a non-reactive container large enough to allow for foaming, and allow to sit at room temperature, lightly covered, stirring occasionally, for 2 days. It should smell a bit like beer and double in size before receding. This will make several loaves.

Now, the bread:

On the evening of the third day, in a very large bowl, blend well:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil (I use good quality olive oil)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup starter
1 tbsp. salt

Bread Dough

Bread Dough, minus two cups of flour

To this mixture add 6 cups bread flour and stir until it can be kneaded. Knead slightly to make a ball. Cover bowl lightly. (I use a pizza pan.)

Bread, ready to rise, at night

Bread, ready to rise, at night

If you plan to use your starter again the next day, feed* and cover it and leave it out. If not, place it, covered, in refrigerator; feed it and bring it to room temperature before the night you are ready to use it.

Bread dough, double sized, in morning.

Bread dough, double sized, in morning.

In the morning, punch down dough, knead lightly, and form two loaves in greased bread pans.

Loaves ready to rise in cold oven, over pan of hot water.

Loaves ready to rise in cold oven, over pan of hot water.

Place in oven on top rack with a 9″x13″ pan of hot water on bottom rack. Close oven. Do not turn oven on. Leave in oven until doubled in size, which may take half a day, but watch it…

Bread baking.

Bread, doubled in size, baking.

Once bread has doubled in size, remove all pans from oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Then bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes.

Bread after 35 minutes

Bread after 35 minutes

This bread is so good, my sons used to take it with them to college, etc. It really doesn’t need butter or jelly, although my husband and I once ate a whole stick of butter spread on this bread, in one sitting. And we only walked away from it, then, because we knew we must. I could eat this all day and all night.

When you make this, let us know how it turns out!

*To feed the starter, mix together 1 cup flour and 1 cup water, and stir into starter.

 

Be a Gift

one of Joi's doilies

One of Joi’s Doilies

Joi and her husband were poor. He was a sacker in a small grocery while she raised their four children in a two-bedroom house and they both worked on college degrees at the same time.

Although we were good friends, Joi was a constant source of inadequacy in me. Her scratch cooking, home canning, crocheted doilies, and hand-sewn quilts, all worked on my sense of accomplishment. She would even blend soy beans in her blender for soy milk.

And then turned it into ice cream.

How did she always fill the gaps among their possessions with cheer? How did she know all about healthful eating before the age of computers? How did she know about herbal healing before the herbal renaissance? How play piano beautifully? I would never catch up!

The day came when Joi and her husband completed their degrees and moved to the land of employment. I lost touch with her, but not exactly; I still can feel Joi’s cheer in my life.

One time, for my birthday, she brought me a huge surprise. Simple and cherishable, just like Joi, the gift brought me happiness, that day. Enveloped in kitchen linens was an enormous steaming loaf of bread. You’ve never seen one that big. I was so excited. With it was a bag of spinach from her own garden, immaculately cleaned.

What fun we had loving that sweet gift to pieces, literally! These delicious additions to my birthday supper may seem like an odd gift to you, but Joi knew what it would mean to us, and we saw the love in it.

If I had washed and washed a big bag of spinach and then given it away I’d be missing it. But Joi just smiled her cheery best. If I’d had the aromas of homemade bread floating through my house, for naught, if I’d known that bread was going to someone else’s house, I’d have handed it over very longingly, not cheerily like Joi.

In a way, you could say Joi was the gift.