I am never entirely convinced that fruit and veggie "breads" are really in the right category. They are usually to tender, to sweet, and to cake-like for me to feel right in calling them a bread. This pumpkin bread is no exception, but that is okay because it is absolutely delicious. I adapted it from Dorie Greenspan's pumpkin muffin recipe from her book Baking: From My Home To Yours. Now there is a clear category, not a cupcake or a biscuit but a muffin. It tells you exactly what to expect. But that is besides the point.
I had a large amount of fresh pumpkin puree on my hands and an itch to bake something to fill the house with warmth and spices. So I turned to Dorie's book, which I had acquired after I stumbled upon the Tuesdays With Dorie group. There were so many recipes I was interested in that I finally requested a copy of my own. Unfortunately, I have not used it much since it was given to me for my birthday, but since the recipes I have used from it have all been wonderful it was time to pull it off the shelf.
It was delicious. Tender, moist, slightly sweet, and with a nice crunch from the walnuts. The warmth from the spices were just right for fall. I still have a hard time calling it a bread instead of a cake or something. It doesn't help that I baked it in a baking dish instead of a bread pan. I wasn't sure that it would turn out right if there wasn't enough surface area for the moisture to evaporate, so I opted for my 7" x 11" pyrex dish. It is kind of an odd size, but I got it with a set and I use it more than I thought I would. If I didn't have it, I would have probably just split the batter between two bread pans. Next time, to circumvent the whole cake/bread problem, I think I will throw on a streusel topping with some brown sugar and chopped walnuts and just call it a coffee cake, problem solved.