A Foodie. One Photo. Every Friday.

Three weeks into October and I have yet to make the perfect loaf of pumpkin bread. Thanks to my beautiful, fall themed pan I bought a few years ago from William & Sonoma, aesthetically the loaf IS perfect. I’ve made three batches and eaten countless slices. The taste is the exact balance of spice and sweetness. It’s the consistency that is my problem. My creation comes out as a hybrid between bread and a slice of pumpkin pie, a toasty bread shell and a gooey center. I want it to veer more on the bread side. More crumbly, less density.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to baking (among other things). I won’t give up until I’ve perfected a recipe. I also will not give out a recipe unless I’ve personally tried it myself, and I never exactly follow the instructions of a recipe. Yeah, I’m that person. I’ll cut back on the sugar, or substitute the flour for whole wheat, or use apple sauce instead of oil. The list can go on. I am an intuitive chef. I go based on tastes and moods. This works with savory dishes, however, baking is a science. If you throw off a ratio you end up with pie when you wanted bread, or a pancake when you wanted a cookie.

This pumpkin bread/pie debacle has led me to try a different approach. I think I’ll ease up a little on the experimenting and do a little more research first. Yes, that means an excuse to buy another food book, score! I think I will start with: How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science. I’ll report back on what I discover, and will hopefully have a pumpkin bread recipe to post before the end of October.

Have your baking experiments ever led you to any new realizations??

What is one recipe that you couldn’t give up until it was perfect?