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Dessert Breads: Sweet Endings in the Sukkah

October 11, 2011
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Sukkot is the Jewish holiday most closely associated with the Earth itself, so there can hardly be a better time to celebrate God's bounty and beneficence. Shelter, hospitality and harvest are the themes of this joyous celebration of life.

Try these sweet endings from Jane Portnoy's A Jewish Calendar of Festive Foods in your sukkah.
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
3 cups sifted flour 
1 Tbsp. and 2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice 
2 tsps. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. baking powder 
11/2 tsps. salt 
23/4 cups sugar 
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) 
4 large eggs 
1 cup vegetable oil 
1/2 cup orange juice 
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three four-cup (about 8x4x3-inch) loaf pans. Disposable pans may be used. This quick bread does not require an electric mixer.
Combine the flour, spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Combine the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in a large mixing bowl. Beat until just blended.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir briefly until well blended. Fold in the cranberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans.
Makes three loaves.
Spicy Banana Bread
2 cups unbleached flour 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/4 tsp. baking powder 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
1/4 tsp. ground ginger 
1/4 tsp. ground allspice 
1 cup brown sugar, packed 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 eggs, beaten with a whisk 
4 ripe bananas, mashed (measuring about 2 cups) 
1/2 cup butter, melted 
1 cup chopped walnuts 
3/4 cup dried currants
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two four-cup (8x4x3-inch) loaf pans.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add cinnamon, ginger and allspice, and blend dry ingredients with a fork. Whisk brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla into beaten eggs. Add mashed bananas to the egg mixture and blend. Alternately add the dry ingredients and melted butter to the egg mixture and blend well. Add chopped walnuts and dried currants.
Pour into the loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Zucchini Walnut Bread
3 large eggs 
2 cups sugar 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
31/2 cups sifted flour 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp. ground ginger 
1 cup vegetable oil 
3 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini (approximately 3 small zucchini) 
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325°. Grease two four-cup (8x4x3-inch) loaf pans.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs for three minutes on medium speed. Slowly add the sugar to the eggs. Add the vanilla.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger, and stir with a fork.
On low speed, alternately add the oil and dry ingredients until well blended. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts.
Pour the batter into the loaf pans and bake for 11/2 hours. Loaves are done when a tester or knife comes out clean. Cool completely on cake racks before turning out the loaves and slicing.

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