I’m so into fresh pumpkin right now. It’s got this earthy flavor that I love so much more than ol’ Libby’s in a can. And, I got even more inspired reading this piece by Kim Severson in the New York Times about Sarah Frey, self-made queen of America’s pumpkin world. (Read it, it’s great.) For the last month or so I’ve been trying to make a recipe for fresh pumpkin bread that works with gluten-free flour. I made several unfortunate bricks such as this:

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And then, finally, over the weekend, I figured out the perfect recipe. Neri helped. Sort of.

What I like about this recipe is that it’s light, it rises perfectly, and it isn’t too sweet (for a more traditional sweet bread flavor, use a cup of honey). Plus it uses buckwheat, which has a lot more nutrients than the white-diabetes-powder-of-death that is any decent tasting gluten-free flour. Here’s a close-up:

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This recipe is super versatile. I’m a big fan of allspice and nutmeg, but you could totally play with the spice profile. Try a little clove. Or cardamom? I like to give the bread protein and crunch by adding pumpkin seeds. Try walnuts? And, this recipe doesn’t have to be pumpkin at all. It works with mashed banana or grated zucchini, too.

To roast your pumpkin, preheat the oven to 400°. Poke holes in a sugar pumpkin with a fork and put the whole thing in the oven. Check it after about 30 minutes. If the outside gives way when you poke it, it’s ready. Let it cool. Slice it in half, remove the seeds and scrape it out. What you don’t use for this recipe, you can sub for the butternut squash in this soup. And, if you’ve got kids around, you might enjoy counting the seeds. Sara brought home “How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?” and it is a huge hit in our house right now. Seed counters:

Buckwheat fresh pumpkin bread (with GF or regular flour)

Ingredients:
2/3 to 1 cup honey or agave
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cups shredded roasted fresh pumpkin (see note on roasting pumpkin) or sub mashed banana or shredded zucchini
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup regular flour or GF flour mix. (Use King Arthur Brand, Pamela’s or Cup 4 Cup.)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda ( if you are using regular flour, 1 teaspoon is fine)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (optional)

Directions: Heat oven to 350°. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. In the bowl of a mixer, beat honey, oil and eggs. Add pumpkin, vanilla and yogurt or sour cream. Beat until uniform and well-combined. In another bowl, whisk the flours, soda, salt and spices. Shake them into the mixer with the wet ingredients. Mix until well-combined. Fold in seeds. If using GF flour, allow to stand for 10 minutes. Pour into the loaf pan. Bake 55 minutes, check for doneness. With GF flour especially, expect to continue baking for up to 10 minutes until top of loaf springs back when pressed. Cool before cutting.