Introduction: Turn a Pumpkin Into Pumpkin Bread

About: Jack-of-all trades, master of some. I would probably be much more modest if it wasn't for these delusions of granduer that I suffer from.

Halloween is over.

The carved pumpkins have all gone mushy and been thrown out.

But you still have several pumpkins hanging around that were painted. What to do with them?

Time to get baking.

Step 1: Prepping the Pumpkin

In order to make use of the pumpkin, you will need to cook it to soften the flesh so it can be used.

Wash the pumpkin to remove any dirt / water based paints from the skin.

Cut the Pumpkin in half. I prefer to cut from top to bottom rather than side by side.

Scoop out the stringy innards and the seeds. You can save the seeds to roast in the oven, or use them to give the neighborhood squirrels a treat.

Trim off any soft sections of the pumpkin.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the cookie sheet.

Step 2: Cook Time

Now it is time to remove some of the excess moisture from the pumpkin and soften the flesh so it is easier to work with.

Bake in the oven for about an hour

350 degrees F / 177 degrees C / Gas Mark 4

You will notice your pumpkin has gotten a bit smaller and the skin has darkened.

Once you can easily separate the pumpkin flesh with a fork it is done.

If the edge of your pumpkin got a little crispy where it contacted the parchment paper feel free to trim those bits off.

Step 3: Scoop Out That Pumpkiny Goodness

If you have a commercially available pumpkin carving kit, the scoop that comes with the kit is awesome for getting the pumpkin flesh out of the skin. If not you can use a spoon.

Scrape as much of the flesh out of the skin as you can without tearing the skin. Nobody wants skin in their puree.

Step 4: Pumpkin Puree

Place the cooked pumpkin into a food processor and blend into a puree. The pumpkin will look "dry" when you first put it into the processor, but DO NOT add any liquid. The pumpkin will release liquid as it is pureed.

At this point you can either use the puree for a recipe or bag it up and store it in your freezer for future use.

This pumpkin was rather small and only yielded three cups of puree. The Larger pumpkin that I pureed earlier in the week yielded about 9 cups.

Step 5: Assembling the "Wet Ingredients"

In a medium mixing bowl combine:

Pumpkin Puree - 2 cups

Eggs - 4

Oil - 1 cup

Water - 2/3 cup

Sugar - 3 cups (I know this isn't technically a wet ingredient, but it dissolves into the liquid nicely)

mix together until blended completely

Step 6: Dry Ingredients

I like to put all of my dry ingredients through a sifter to avoid any lumps in the batter.

If you don't have a sifter, you can simply use a wire mesh strainer.

In a Large mixing bowl combine

All-Purpose Flour - 3 cups

Baking Soda - 2 teaspoons

Salt - 1 1/2 teaspoons

Pumpkin Pie Spice - 2 Teaspoons

Ground Clove - 1/2 Teaspoon

Mix together until blended

Step 7: Mixing Wet and Dry

Slowly stir the wet ingredient into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until completely blended.

Step 8: Time to Start Loafin' Around

Grease three loaf pans

Pour an equal amount of batter into each of the pans. The pans will only be about half full, but that is OK because the mix will expand quite a bit as it bakes.

Step 9: Cooking

place the three loaf pans into a preheated oven

350 degrees F / 177 degrees C / Gas Mark 4

Bake for about 50 minutes.

Loaves are done once a toothpick / bamboo skewer / butter knife can be inserted into the middle of the loaf and it comes out clean

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