Joel’s Moderately Fancy Meal: Sourdough Pumpkin Quick Bread! (Sourdough Optional!)  »

So you roasted a pumpkin according to Megan’s directions? Nicely done! But don’t stop now, spanky. You’re just a few simple steps away from a finished product that you can bring in to work to cultivate your persona as the person who knows how to make stuff. You can also use it to curry favor, make friends, or start intra-office rivalries! Granted, a borrowed pen can do all that but it doesn’t taste half so good. Wait, what am I talking about? Pumpkin bread! A dessert-y, cake-y breakfast bread that’s probably good for you! Why not, it’s got pumpkin!

For those of you who are scared by the sourdough, DON’T WORRY. You don’t have to use it. Any time you see a recipe call for sourdough starter that doesn’t depend on it for rise—like this recipe, which uses chemical leavening, i.e., baking powder—you can substitute equal parts flour and water. So easy! Seriously though you should start baking with sourdough, it’s delicious.

(Sourdough) Pumpkin Quick Bread (makes 1 loaf)


  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg’s worth egg replacer of your choice (I use Bob’s Red Mill for this recipe but follow your bliss, you crazy hippie!)
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (OR one scant cup each water and flour, mixed thoroughly)
  • 1 tsp vanilla spices (pumpkin pie mix, or cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg, powdered ginger, and so on!)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

First off: roast that pumpkin. A very small one will give you exactly the right amount of flesh. Once it’s cooled, scoop out the flesh and either puree it, if you want a smooth bread, or mash it with a potato masher or fork, if you like chunks. I mashed mine but you do what you want, I’m not here to judge.

Start your oven preheating at 350°. Cream together the Earth Balance and sugar (try doing it by hand for an awesome forearm workout that totally will not make you angry). Add the “egg” and mix. Dump in the pumpkin and starter or flour slurry, along with the vanilla and whatever spices you feel are appropriate. Mix again. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and stir until just integrated but not too much or it’ll end up chewy. Pro tip: if you feel like maybe you did stir too much, I don’t know maybe you were reading some steamy internet slash fiction with Harry and Snape and you got distracted, look I am not here to judge, let the batter sit for 15 minutes. Pour it into a lightly greased loaf pan, and bake for about 70 minutes, or until a toothpick, thin-bladed knife, or very small child’s finger comes out clean*. Let it cool for a while before you slice it, lest it crumble.


Chop up some candied ginger and toss it in! Use other fruits or vegetables—this could be your new favorite zucchini bread recipe just as easily! Toss in a handful of chocolate chips with the pumpkin! If you’re making a slurry rather than using starter, make it with soy milk (or pumpkin nog?????) rather than water! Of course the best variation is to use the damn starter, seriously people, sourdough is where it’s at! Hello?

Whatever! Enjoy it!

* Joke! Small children’s fingers are NEVER clean!

This has been an installment of Joel’s Moderately Fancy Meal, brought to you by Joel, of Joel and Nibbler.

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