We had some extra pumpkin left over from last week’s cookie recipe. So, the other day, I got to wondering what would happen if my favourite Pumpkin and Lemon Poppy Seed loaves were to be combined into one fabulous sweet bread. I was thinking of chai spices, too, predicting that chai tea might taste good after supper with some cognac dribbled in. When I got around to baking some test loaves (boozy tea by my side), I realized that there was some extra buttermilk lying around which I’d better throw in… The result? Possibly the best sweet bread I have ever made! The family loves it, too. We’re planning on having it for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, tea, dinner, dessert, and late-night snacks. Although, with that in mind, we better go make some more!
Pumpkin Poppy Seed Loaf with Citrus, Cardamom, and Cognac
- 1 1/2 c white sugar
- 1 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/2 c cooking oil
- 1/2 c melted unsalted butter [or more cooking oil]
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 c fresh lemon or orange juice
- zest of 1 lemon or .5 orange
- 1-2 tbs cognac
- 3 1/2 c flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 tbs poppy seeds
- 1/2 c buttermilk sour milk [milk with a bit of lemon juice, stirred, and set to rest for a while], or water
- 1 15- oz can pumpkin or the equivalent of cooked puréed fresh pumpkin
- Heat oven to 350°.
- Grease the bottom and sides of two bread pans. [I prefer glass/pyrex for sweet breads.]
- In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, beat sugars, oil, and melted butter until combined.
- Add eggs and beat well.
- Add citrus juice, zest, and cognac, and stir until combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom cinnamon, nutmeg, and poppy seeds.
- Add small, alternating batches of flour and buttermilk [or water] to the sugar mixture, beating until combined.
- Add pumpkin and beat until combined.
- Pour into prepared bread pans.
- Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre of the loaves comes out clean.
- Cool in pans on wire racks for 20 minutes.
- Remove from pans and cool completely.
- Slice and serve.