A friend of mine recently gave me a slow cooker she no longer needed.
“It just sits in the cabinet taking up space,” she said. “Besides, I’ll just borrow it the one time of the year I make brisket or apple butter.”
I felt like she was giving up a kitten for adoption for this wasn’t just any slow cooker, but a fancy kind with a shiny exterior, sturdy handles and a digital timer on the front. This piece of kitchen machinery is quite statuesque when I pull it out of the cabinet and place it prominently on my kitchen counter. I image my Kitchen Aid mixer and Keurig trembled a bit the first time I brought it home and plugged it in for the first time. Or perhaps they were thrilled to have a new friend. I’m not quite sure.
The beauty of my new slow cooker is the ceramic vessel is nearly a third bigger than my pervious machine, allowing me the opportunity to explore a whole new world of slow cookery.
I knew exactly what I would try first – baking. Plus, with Thanksgiving just a couple of weeks away, I decided pumpkin bread was a perfect option.
The end result was an incredibly moist, dense loaf of bread. It felt weighty in my hands as I eased it out of the pan to cool. Slathered with soft butter, it tasted like heaven.
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, brown sugar and canola oil until well combined.
- Stir in the beaten eggs and canned pumpkin. Mix until the incorporated into the wet mixture.
- Add the dry ingredients into a small bowl and mix lightly. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, stirring until the completely combined.
- Lightly coat a nonstick bread pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter evenly into the pan.
- Add two cups of hot water to your slow cooker and place the pan inside the ceramic vessel.
- Cover the top of the crockpot with a sheet of parchment paper or approximately 8-10 sheets of paper towels. This is to trap condensation and keep the bread from becoming mushy.
- Place the slow cooker lid on top of the parchment/paper towels. Bake on high 2½ to 3 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.