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Boozy Raisin Pumpkin Bread

Boozy Raisin Pumpkin Bread

Boozy Raisin Pumpkin Bread is my all time favorite seasonal. I came up with this recipe last fall after getting frustrated at the amount of sugar in most quick breakfast breads. I added the vegan twist to it so this recipe fits almost all your needs. I now need to experiment to see if I can also come up with a gluten free version, but that’s for another day. This would be a great bread to have on hand Thanksgiving morning for noshing. mashed banana

Start with one large ripe banana and mash. If this is not at least a half cup, add some more.

shredded carrots

Shred a large carrot or two. Again, the measure should come to a generous half cup. In other words, pile a little on top. These carrots are from the farmers market and were beautiful in color and so fresh!

pumpkin and moist ingredients

Combine all the moist ingredients and throw in half a cup of shredded coconut. I had large flakes on hand and used them, but regular flakes or shredded is fine as well. Just be sure it is unsweetened.

dry ingredients

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, stir together with fork and add to the pumpkin mixture. If you like a spicy bread, just add a bit more cinnamon or apple pie spice, which is a combination of spices that will work nicely in this bread.

nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are the only fat in this bread, but the good thing is they are packed with nutrients.

pumpkin bread before baked

Ready to close the oven door and let the house be filled with the perfume of spicy bread! Yum!

Boozy Raisin Pumpkin Bread

And voila! Delicious, hot from the oven, boozy raisin pumpkin bread. Spread on a pat of butter or enjoy as is, either way the flavors are divine! After completely cool, store in refrigerator. I reheat a slice at a time in the toaster. (If your toaster does not have a lift out mechanism, reheat under the broiler or in the microwave.)

Boozy Raisin Pumpkin Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
This moist delicious pumpkin bread is chock-full of nutrients.
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • rum to just cover, about ⅓ cup*
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbs flax meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp coconut flavoring
  • 1 can organic pumpkin
  • ½ cup mashed ripe banana (about one large banana)
  • ½ cup date sugar or coconut sugar (optional)
  • ¼ shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup oat** or barley flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbs. hemp seed
  1. Thirty minutes before preparing bread, mix raisins and rum together and bring just to boiling point over high heat.
  2. Remove from burner and set aside; allow raisins to soak up rum.
  3. This step can be done night before without boiling, just cover with rum and allow to soak.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  5. Lightly coat the inside of a 9X5 bread pan with coconut oil.
  6. Mix together applesauce, vanilla, coconut flavoring (if using) and flax seeds; set aside.
  7. Mash banana and combine with pumpkin.
  8. Add carrots and raisins and any remaining rum, up to one tablespoon.
  9. Add coconut.
  10. Add date or coconut sugar, if using, and stir all together.
  11. In separate bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
  12. Mix applesauce mixture into pumpkin.
  13. Mix flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and before all is completely moistened, add nuts and seeds and stir until just combined and all dry ingredients are moistened.
  14. Pour into prepared pan.
  15. Bake for 1 hour and 10 mins or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
  16. Allow to cool for ten minutes and then turn out to a wire rack.
  17. When completely cool, store in refrigerator.
  18. *If you would prefer to not use rum, place raisins in a small sauce pan, add enough water to just cover, bring to a boil and boil for one minute then turn off heat and allow to soak for thirty minutes.
  19. **To make your own oat flour, place two cups of rolled oats in a heavy duty blender and process on high until of flour consistency. There will still be some pieces of oats, but that’s okay, it just adds to the texture of the bread. Measure out one cup and if you have any remaining, place in an airtight container for future use.



Friday Foodie: Armenian Brioche filled with Dates, Walnuts, Honey and Spices


Armenian Brioche is a new bread for me. I’ve been making bread for many years and started out the old fashioned way, but when bread machines came along, I quickly adapted. Making this bread took a bit longer, no doubt, than one I might make in my machine, but was so worth the time and effort.

While looking at spices on the Penzeys website, I took a look at their specialty spices and saw, Mahlab. Curious, I did a web search and found out about this spice and recipes that use it. The Perfect Pantry had an Armenian Brioche recipe which I changed up a bit and became the recipe I am sharing with you today. (The Perfect Pantry had also adapted it from another source, however, the only change I saw was a division of ingredients to make a smaller amount.)

Because Mahlab should be ground fresh, I used my molcajete. I actually bought this specifically for the task, but have always wanted one, so great excuse, eh? I also ground my cloves for the filling. Next, I’ll be making guacamole in it!

Because I could not get a super fine grind, I then sifted it through this mesh strainer. This is a great tool for sifting, by the way.

This is my two flours, barley and bread flour, along with the yeast at the top and the mahlab at the bottom. I love barley flour for it’s fine texture and smoothness in breads and cakes. A great way to add a whole grain to a bread, cake or pancakes.

After beating the eggs and sugar with the butter, and adding the flour and milk/water mixture, I switched to my dough hook to finish kneading this into a smooth ball.

Before the first rising.

After the bread had been through it’s two risings, I formed the dough into 20 balls and while they rested for 30 minutes, I made the filling. I chopped the dates and walnuts. That’s my Pampered Chef chopper in the background. Works wonders on nuts.

I used a regular teaspoon to scoop up the filling for each roll.

This is one of the balls with the filling.

On the left is the pinching up process and the right all pinched together. I then rolled the dough back into a smooth ball.

The egg wash.

I used this tea strainer to sprinkle the poppy seeds onto each roll. The tea strainer works for other spices as well.

Beautiful! I think I over cooked them just a bit. Go for golden, but go short rather than long!

Here’s the recipe. Click on the title for a printable or downloadable copy. I hope you will enjoy as much as my family and I did!

Peace and joy!

Friday Foodie: Armenian Brioche filled with Dates, Walnuts, Honey and Spices
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Armenian Brioche stuffed with Dates, Walnuts, Honey and spices While looking at the Penzey spice website, I noticed a section of specialty spices and perused the list. I ran across Mahlab, a spice totally unfamiliar to me. I was intrigued with it’s origins , Turkey and Iran, and that essentially it comes from the pits of a sour cherry. I did a search for recipes using this “spice” and found this Armenian Brioche, traditionally served at Easter. This is the recipe I adapted from The Perfect Pantry.
  • For the dough:
  • 2 cups barley flour + extra as needed
  • 1 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbs. finely ground Mahlab (grind just before using)
  • 2 ½ tsps bread machine yeast (or one package of yeast)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ Tbs coconut oil
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ cup warm water, (I use hot from the tap since adding straight to the flour and yeast mix)
  • ⅓ c warm milk
  • Filling:
  • 10 ounces, pitted and freshly chopped dates (I used Medjool)
  • ½ c chopped walnuts
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 2 Tbs honey
  1. For Filling: Mix first four ingredients together. Use your finger tips to mix the spices and walnuts with the dates to help separate clumps of dates. Mix in the honey and set aside until ready to fill bread. After filling, if there is any left, eat directly from the bowl. (I had about a heaping spoon full left and it was delicious!)
  2. For dough: Combine flours mahlab, salt and yeast, set aside.
  3. Turn oven to 100 degrees (or lowest setting). When it reaches temperature, turn off oven.
  4. In heavy duty mixer, cream butter, oil and sugar together. Add eggs and beat until combined and creamy.
  5. Combine milk and water together. Alternating between flour mixture and milk/water mixture, starting with flour, add to the creamed ingredients and continue mixing. When dough becomes too thick for the standard beater, replace with dough hook. Add additional flour (I alternated between barley and bread flour) one tablespoon at a time until dough is smooth and elastic.
  6. Oil a large bowl, but not metal, and place dough in bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in warm oven. If oven feels hot, prop door open until just warm. The idea is to give the dough a warm place to rise, out of drafts, until double in size, about 2 hours.
  7. Punch down. Fold together, smooth into a ball and allow to rise again for about 1 ½ hours, until double in size. Punch down again and allow to rest for 15 mins. Divide dough in half. Divide each half again and then make five balls from each quarter. Allow the balls of dough to rest , covered, for 30 mins.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten each ball into a round, using a dining table spoon, scoop a spoonful into the center. Pinch dough closed around filling and reshape into a ball. Fill balls, one at a time, then place, two inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with an egg wash, made from one egg yoke and one tsp of water. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
  9. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy hot from the oven or may be reheated the next day for serving. Freeze any leftovers (which there will be none, but just incase) for up to a month.