Fall is here and what better way to celebrate than by baking some delicious pumpkin bread?
Besides, is there anything more cozy than a slice of pumpkin bread hot from the oven and slathered with butter? There is nothing I like more than some warm pumpkin bread…and maybe a cup of tea to go with it.
One of my earliest memories is actually of my nanny making pumpkin bread. I remember the warm sweet smell as it baked and the taste of the melted butter that she slathered on it. So delicious!!
You cannot truly embrace old fashioned homemaking in the fall without a good pumpkin bread recipe. You can easily find one to make if you don’t have a favorite one already, but I thought it would be fun to find an actual old pumpkin bread recipe.
So I went to over to my new found friend the Internet Archive and spent way too much time looking through old recipes before I came across this one. I guess pumpkin bread was not a big deal in the 1800’s because this was literally the only recipe I found from that time period.
There were plenty of recipes for pumpkin pie, but this was the only one for pumpkin bread and interestingly enough, it isn’t located in the dessert section. Now I know that some people consider pumpkin bread and banana bread more of an actual bread, but I suppose what I grew up calling pumpkin bread is more of a pumpkin cake baked in a loaf pan.
This recipe comes from the book called the American Practical Cookery Book and it was published in 1859. To give you a historical time frame, this was only a couple of years before the civil war broke out and right around the time that Little House on the Prairie depicts.
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- Indian Meal
“Stew and strain some pumpkin, stiffen with Indian meal, salt and yeast, and it makes a most excellent bread.”
What is Indian meal?
Indian Meal is the same thing as cornmeal, corn flour, maize, or polenta. So to make this recipe you would add cornmeal to the stewed pumpkin in order to bring it together.
What kind of yeast did they use in the 1800’s?
There were many types of yeast used to leaven recipes in the 1800’s such as…
- Pearlash – This is also called potash and is made from wood ashes. It is made by the similar process used for making lye.
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
Thanks for going on this adventure with me and exploring an old fashioned pumpkin bread recipe! I hope you found it as intriguing as I did.
Although it this isn’t a sweet pumpkin bread recipe, I am tempted to adapt it into one by adding some sugar. I’m sure it would also be good as it is with some butter and brown sugar while it is still hot.
Either way, I’m excited to try this recipe out and share with you all if this old fashioned recipe is worth adding to our fall favorites baking list!
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