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Chocolate Walnut Pumpkin Streusel Bread

  So, my Sundays with Joy are going to become Thursdays with Joy for a couple weeks.  My weekends have not been my own, and this coming one is no exception!

  But really, who wants to hear about busy weekends?  No one.  Well, not me, anyway.

  I want to talk about fireplaces, tea, books, and good friends.  Oh, and pumpkin bread.  Let's go with that one.

  So, the original recipe was vegan.  That sort of went out the window when I added buttermilk, and then streusel...which contains butter.

  I'd be a horrible vegan.  I've only got one such recipe on the blog, and it's for these vegan chocolate cupcakes.  I've done that much at least!

  I had some minor issues with loaf sink-age.  But really, when you give someone a slice of warm, ridiculously moist pumpkin bread stuffed with walnuts and chocolate and layered with cinnamon streusel, you don't really hear complaints about the fact that there's a slight dent in the middle.

  And if they do remark upon it, then they don't have to eat it, do they?

  But if loaf sink-age really scares your aesthetically-pleased soul, don't fret.  I think that a high contributing factor to mine was the fact that I sort of under-baked it.  It's hard to tell if that streak of underdone in the center is due to my lack of proper checking or the moistness of the streusel.

  Either way, I don't really care.  It's still freaking good.

Chocolate Walnut Pumpkin Streusel Bread
Yield: two 9x5 inch loaves

Ingredients for the streusel:
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

Ingredients for the bread:
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9x5 inch pans.

To make the streusel, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Add the cold butter and use your fingers to quickly rub it into the flour mixture, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest butter bits are no bigger than peas.  Set aside in the fridge.

To make the bread, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.  In a medium bowl, carefully whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, syrup, and buttermilk.  Add the oil mixture all at once to the flour mixture, and use a spatula to fold together.  Wen there are just a few dry streaks left to combine, add the walnuts and chocolate chips and continue folding until combined.

Divide half the batter between the bottoms of the two prepared pans, filling each pan halfway.  Remove the streusel from the fridge and divide half of the streusel between both pans.  Cover the streusel layer with the remaining half of the batter, then top it all off with the remaining streusel.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes in the pan.  After 20 minutes, invert each loaf onto a cooling rack.

Serve warm, with butter, cream cheese, chai, tea, or just as is!  Loaves can be wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 5 days.  You can also freeze and leave at room temperature to thaw as needed.

Sources: adapted from Joy the Baker's Cookbook, streusel adapted from Willow Bird Baking