Today was another church potluck and, since the weather was so amazing this weekend, we decided to try to do it outside at Nancy's house. Jessi and I wanted to do something new, but something that was also suitably fall-ish. Oh, and I had some leftover Schlafly Pumpkin Ale from last year which, while still good, needed to be used up so's I can get a sixer of the fresh stuff from down the street at Prairie Home General Store (who now stocks a small amount of good beer and wine)! At any rate, these factors conspired together to produce today's treat: Pumpkin Beer Bread!
|Possibly the best pumpkin ale out there!|
The original recipe upon which mine is closely based, is found here. To be honest, I had planned to make this recipe exactly as is (except to possibly add chopped pecans or walnuts), because it looks just about perfect, but in my rushed state I overlooked the fact that we didn't have any whole-wheat flour. Come to find out, we also didn't have any nuts (at least other than peanuts, which would not make a very good pumpkin bread), since I used the last of the walnuts in the bacon-banana bread. Well, church was in a little over an hour, so I improvised. I'd heard that chocolate makes a good companion to pumpkin and (after having tried this combination in a martini...more on that later) I decided I'd try it here as well.
|The finished product...|
In the end, I followed the original recipe, but with a couple of changes. First off, I used all all-purpose flour, because it's all we had. Also, I added 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter. The original recipe called for baking at 350 for around 60 minutes. I upped this to 360 (I was, as per usual, late for church) and it finished perfectly in about 57 minutes. Flipped right out of the pan (greased with cooking spray) and people really seemed to enjoy it.
|Good, but that's a whole lotta chocolate...|
We'll likely make this again. I'm dead sold on using Schlafly Pumpkin Ale for this. After all, it's one of if not the best pumpkin ales out there, is local, and is readily available. Also, since it's slightly stronger than the average pumpkin ale (8% abv) it lent a slightly alcohol/fruity/molasses flavor to the finished product that was very nice. If we make this again with the chocolate chips, we'll probably drop the amount down to 1/2 a cup or maybe even a touch less. I was going for pumpkin bread with a hint of chocolate; this came out as a chocolate/pumpkin bread. If that's what you're going for, keep the 3/4 cup of chocolate chips, but it was a bit much for us. Also, next time around, we might try the original recipe (i.e. w/some whole-wheat, or maybe even barley flour), but add some toasted pecans or walnuts. At any rate, this was a solid recipe that we'll definitely be returning to!