Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Loaf {TWD-BWJ}

I can’t tell you how excited I was about this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking with Julia recipe. After all, it features one of my favorite ingredients: pumpkin! To say I love pumpkin doesn’t really do justice to how I feel about this ingredient. Obsessed might be a better word.

Anyway, I was really looking forward to this bread. And it did not disappoint!

Now, this is not what you probably think of when you hear “pumpkin bread”. It’s a yeast bread, not a quick bread. And it’s not overly sweet. It’s more like raisin bread. Except with pumpkin. And walnuts. And whole cranberries.

Isn’t that beautiful? And you should have seen the bread!

Here are my observations:

  • As mentioned, this isn’t a sweet bread. It’s actually a bit on the savory side, with the tangy cranberries, walnuts, and even the pumpkin, which is, after all, a squash.
  • Speaking of the pumpkin, it adds a beautiful color to the dough, but not a distinct flavor. If you tasted it with your eyes closed, you probably wouldn’t guess that it had pumpkin in it.
  • As I often do with pumpkin-based recipes, I switched out the spices called for in the recipe with five-spice powder.
  • A number of bakers reported that their dough didn’t rise well. Mine rose fine, but when it came out of the fridge after an overnight rest, it was really sluggish. It’s a really rich dough, so I would probably recommend using SAF Gold yeast if you have any.
  • I baked my loaf in one pan, and it took significantly longer than the recipe called for. The finished loaf was moist, somewhat dense, and delicious.
  • This bread is great as toast with butter. But with Speculoos butter, it is sublime.
  • This would be the perfect bread for making toast on Thanksgiving morning. It wouldn’t be too filling, but it would wake your mouth up to the flavors to come later in the day.
  • I wonder how this bread would be as bread pudding? I don’t think the current loaf is going to last long enough to find out, but it would be worth making again for that purpose.

So, in summary, I loved this bread! And not just because it had pumpkin in it. Although, that certainly didn’t hurt.


  1. betsy said,

    October 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I wasn’t going to make this until I saw it was a yeast bread. It wasn’t anything like what I expected. Delicious. I made the minis so have one left in the freezer. I’m glad you mentioned the Speculoos butter because I have a jar, but am never sure what to use it on.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 6, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Speculoos butter is good on anything — even a spoon!

  2. Cindy Harris said,

    October 3, 2012 at 12:14 am

    I agree–I loved it. I put one of the loaves in the freezer. It’s just hubby and me so it is just enough for bread pudding for two or french toast. So many decisions.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      I’d definitely go with the bread pudding.

  3. nancyo said,

    October 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    This is the recipe that caught my eye first when I bought the book – glad to read your assessment. I think it’s time to tackle the loaf!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      I’m already thinking about making it again.

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