Pumpkin Bread, Gluten-Free

Hi!  Guess what?  It’s December 15th people!  You know what that means?  I am very behind on my Christmas knitting!  Gah!  I realize that you don’t necessarily come here for knitting news, but that’s what I have to report.  You know, way back in in 2005, I started this blog and it was called Four Chickens (anyone still here from those days?).  It was mainly about knitting (and my chickens).  I remember so clearly that the gals in my knitting group were starting knitting blogs and I wanted to do one, too.  I love roses (I have managed to squeeze about 15 of them into my yard), and originally wanted to call the blog “Blowsy Roses.”  My pals said, “what?! Are you crazy?  That’s a stupid name.”  And so, one night we talked about it and finally landed on Four Chickens (which was the number of chickens I had at the time).  My friend Jessica made a header for me and I was off and running.

Unfortunately, that blog wasn’t such a great knitting blog.  I loved to knit, but I took horrible photos, and I didn’t finish stuff fast enough for it to be all that interesting for people to read.  And I was lazy and didn’t want to post stats, etc.  I did join Ravelry (I’m there as fourchickens if you want to friend me), and that seemed to be a better place to share my knitting.  So, the blog limped along for about 4 years–until 2009.  It was in 2009 that I discovered Facebook and Twitter. Mainly Twitter.  With Twitter, my world expanded in ways I couldn’t believe.  I finally found my people on Twitter and, as it turns out, most of them were bakers and food lovers.

That same year, I was at an educational conference.  At one of the sessions of this conference, we were asked to identify our passions.  At first I was like, “yeah, yeah, blah, blah.”  I’ve done so many of those types of exercises that I could lead them.  But, there was something different about this one.  My true passion came up as baking.  Now, I have baked since I was big enough to stand on a chair and reach the kitchen counter and I couldn’t live without baking.  But, there was something different about this particular realization.  The exercise put baking into the category of “profession.” I don’t know why, but I had never, truly, considered baking as a profession.  My pal Becca and I always fantasized about starting a gluten-free bakery/piano bar (what?  You don’t think that’s a good idea?).  But, we were always aware that owning a bakery meant having no life outside of the bakery, and we had small children to take care of and husbands who wanted to see us.

As I became active on Twitter, and contemplated baking in a new light, I gradually became aware of the fact that I wanted this blog to be about baking instead of knitting.  So, I started posting recipes and a new blog was born!  I didn’t change the name until Fall 2010.  But, I had found my passion.  I have to say, once I identified my baking as my first and true passion, things went quickly.  I found and hung out with my people–foodies–and gave myself license to bake to my heart’s content.  And, further, my teacher side came out (I used to teach at university)–I realized that I want to help other people bake well.  And, because I happen to be gluten-free, that meant helping people learn to bake well gluten-free.  All of this led to me teaching gluten-free baking classes and eventually, writing a gluten-free baking book.

So, I sit before you, a person for whom life opened up a totally new road for me to walk.  A road that became just barely visible two years ago.  It has been a lesson to me (and it should be a lesson to everyone), that you truly never know what’s around the next bend in the road of life.

All of that said, I still count knitting as a beloved hobby.  And, I naively plan knitted Christmas presents.  I still bake for the holidays (duh), but I don’t really give baked goods out as presents.  I bring baked things to parties, and we have them for our family and friends when they come over.  I am a woman with tennis elbow from knitting and writing too much (who knew?).  And my Mother and Father in Law are coming tomorrow to have an early Christmas with us.  And I haven’t finished knitting presents!  Gah.

What does one do when one is behind on her knitting?  Bake, of course.  Girlfriend has a pal coming over after school today and my latest snack for them is pumpkin bread.  It’s always a hit with everyone and it’s not only yummy, but it’s festive!

While you bake this, send fast knitting vibes my way, OK?

Pumpkin Bread, Gluten-Free
Yield: 1 -9 in by 5 in loaf

2 cups (280 g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 cups (300g)  granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) neutral-flavored oil (like rice bran or canola)
1 cup (270 grams) canned pumpkin puree
1 cup (120 grams) coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Extra tapioca flour and oil for the pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour a 9 in x 5 in loaf pan.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes–until light and fluffy. Turn mixer down to low and slowly add oil in the side of the bowl. Beat until combined. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until combined.  Add flour mixture and beat until combined. Add nuts (if using), and beat until just mixed in.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. If the bread is becoming too dark, loosely tent with aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Store loosely wrapped at room temperature in foil or plastic for up to 5 days.


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  1. Connie says

    This bread is a hit. I made a loaf a couple of weeks ago as a gluten free option for desert at a family dinner. HUGE hit. Everyone loved it. I’ve made it twice more since then. The second time i made it it was just for 2 of us so it took a few days to eat it. Like you suggest for your white bread i just left it out on the cutting board and its was good for at least the 3 days it took us to eat it. I bake it in my cast iron loaf pan and it turns out beautifully. One loaf is not enough for company so i just invested in a second loaf pan so i can make them 2 at a time! Thank you for a great receipe.

  2. JM says

    Just a thought–chopped pumpkin seeds (shelled, of course) instead of pecans or walnuts? My boys love pumpkin muffins for breakfast! Is there anyway to cut back on the sugar?

    • says

      JM: Chopped pumpkin seeds sounds great! Also, if you want to reduce the sugar, you will need to experiment to see how reducing it affects the recipes. Start with reducing it by 1/4 cup/50 g and see how it goes.

  3. Terri says

    Hi Jeanne:

    *You* in your blog are so fun to read! You make this journey a whole lot less daunting for a life-long baker gone GF. And I am really enjoying painlessly learning so much! 😀

    Just made the pumpkin bread, except it was pumpkin muffins — three sizes — and I doubled the recipe, used 5 large instead of 4 extra-large eggs, added pecans and raisins, and they’re really good!! Very nice fluffy batter!!

    Thanks so much!


    • says

      Terri: Aw, I’m so glad! And thank you! And I’m glad you like the recipe–it’s been one of my favorites for years!! Happy baking!

  4. Lori says

    I just recently discovered your website and so glad I did! I went wheat and dairy free about a year ago and have done limited baking. The pumpkin bread came out of the oven about a half hour ago and I needed to send you a note and tell you how delicious it is! Better than any pumpkin bread I ever made with wheat flour. The only change I made was to use 1 C brown sugar and 1/2 C Splenda for the sugar plus 1/2 C raisins instead of nuts. I also line my loaf pan with parchment paper and the bread comes right out. Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes!

  5. Linda KistnerLindakistner says

    I made your pumpkin bread this morning and I think it is the best pumpkin bread I have ever made. I’m taking some to a church function in the morning and I know they will not realize it is gluten free. Your recipes are a treasure and I cannot wait for your book!

  6. Jennifer Hutchison says

    Hey Jeannie,

    Just to point out to you an ‘oopsie’ – have you forgotten to tell us when to add the pumpkin puree in the directions? or am I the one missing something? LOL. No worries, I have made enough of your delicious baking that I can figure it out, but just an FYI.


    • admin says

      Jennifer: Oh geez. I do that all the time–thanks for catching that!! I just edited the method to include where to add the pumpkin puree. Sigh. :)

  7. Marty says

    New to this site. Gluten-free and vegan…can this be veganized with say EnRg-replacer or chia or flax meal? Quilter (long time) and newby knitter. Love you site! Miss GF breads!

    • admin says

      Marty: I would try flax seeds. What I do is use 3 tbls ground flax seeds mixed into 1 tbls hot water for each egg. Let sit for about 15 minutes to gel. Then whip with electric beater. It’s not perfect, and the bread will be more dense and flatter than usual, but it should work.

  8. AJB says

    Made this earlier this week, added a bit of chocolate chips and very finely chopped walnuts and pecans. It is so moist and delicious. Thank you!

  9. Suzi says

    I love the idea of a GF piano bar and bakery. I’d be there! I’ve always fantasized about the perfect GF breakfast place, with waffles, pancakes, baked yummies, and a slew of alternatives for the egg-free, potato-free folks like myself. Only real maple syrup need apply.

  10. says

    New follower here. LOVE how you found out how to be a baker by profession. It makes me want to go to that seminar.

    So if you see a lot of hits on old posts, it was me. 😉


  11. says

    Love your story! I’m a knitter, sewer, and general overall crafter as well. I started my first blog, “My Mojito and I Have Global Influence” in 2005 to share breaking news stories from around the world that I felt wern’t getting enough domestic press (yes, I used to be a sort of international policy wonk!) and I would occasionally share pictures of my DIYs ranging from knitting, sewing, gardening and around the house projects. But I really never had much to say beyond sharing the stories and posting pictures.

    After going gluten free in 2009 I found that I had so much more to write about cooking, food, and traveling. So I changed the name of my blog and keep a seperate blog with my husband to keep our family updated on DIYs. Although all of my interests seem to come crashing together on twitter :-P.


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