Baked Sunday Mornings: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

Baked Sunday Mornings is kicking off Baked: New Frontiers in Baking this week with a seasonally appropriate Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf -- current heat wave in D.C. notwithstanding. It appears in the "Breakfast" chapter of the cookbook.

This is a really simple recipe that can be mixed by hand. You whisk together pumpkin puree and oil; add sugar, followed by eggs, vanilla, and water; stir in chocolate chips; and fold in the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt). The recipe produces enough batter to make two loaves, which you are supposed to bake in two 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pans. I have several sets of loaf pans, including pans that are 8.5 inches by 4.5 inches and pans that are 10 inches by 5 inches. Before mixing the batter, I had already cut parchment paper to line two of the smaller pans, which actually required a bit of work because I cut the paper to perfectly fit the flared sides and into the corners. Looking at the amount of batter in my mixing bowl, I thought that I should use the larger pans instead, but honestly, I was just too lazy to line two more loaf pans. So I poured the batter into the smaller lined loaf pans and crossed my fingers. I wasn't worried so much about the batter overflowing -- because the parchment paper extended above the rim of the pans on all four sides -- but more about how long it would take to bake the loaves with the pans so full.
My loaves took 85 minutes to finish baking and the tops became very dark. The batter rose right to the rim of the pan along the sides, and the top formed a high dome with attractive cracks. Even though I tented the bread with aluminum foil about halfway through baking, there were some singed spots on the top of both loaves. When I unmolded the warm bread, I noticed that the bottom crust was also slightly burned.

I was indifferent about this bread. I'm certain that the recipe would have turned out better if I had baked it in larger pans for less time; the outside of my loaves were too dark and the inside was just a touch gummy. Regardless, I wasn't terribly impressed with the flavor. I personally think that pumpkin and chocolate can be a tricky pairing because the latter can overwhelm the former. I also have never been a fan of chocolate combined with spice. I think I would have liked this bread better with something like cranberries to a little brightness to the loaf. But I'm the outlier here -- the rest of the Baked Sunday Mornings group is raving about this recipe!

Recipe: "Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf" from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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Chocolate and spice is definitely a love or hate combo. I added ginger, both ground and candied and it was a good combo with the chocolate (but only if a fan of spice with chocolate). Maybe candied ginger in place of the chocolate in this recipe would be good.
Robyn said…
I normally hate chocolate and cinnamon together, but for some reason (probably the pumpkin) I didn't mind it in this! So excited to kick off Book 1!