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Maple Pumpkin Bread with Cousins

Maple Pumpkin BreadThis year everyone came to our house for Christmas. I love hosting and hate driving in the snow, so this was perfect. “Everyone” included two cousins to my toddler and I thought that I would create a fun cooking project for the three of them. My toddler loves to dump and mix, the 10 year old could run the show and the 5 year old could do everything in between. Ah, the best laid plans…

Actually the pumpkin bread tasted great, but after the measuring and dumping the flour stage, both the 5 year old and my toddler decided that their hands NEEDED washing. And then that water in the sink NEEDED to be played with. So it became a cooking lesson for the 10 year old, which worked out fine by us.

Maple Pumpkin Bread with CousinsCousins baking

1 roasted pumpkin, skin removed or 1 can of pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 3/4 cup whole spelt flour or 1 cup white and 3/4 whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– The 10 year old preheats oven to 350° F

* The 10 year old and the 5 year old add pumpkin to a small bowl and let the toddler dump bowl of pumpkin into the food processor.

pureed pumpkin* Once all the pumpkin is in the food processor, the adult puts the lid on the food processor and the 5 year old turns the food processor on. Let it blend up for a while (until the pumpkin seems to be smoothing out), the 5 year old can stop the food processor. The adult can open the food processor, the 10 year old can scrape down the sides of the food processor (to push in any clumps of pumpkin), the adult will put the lid back on and the 5 year old will turn the food processor back on until the pumpkin looks smooth and the 5 year old will turn it off.

– The 5 year old measures out 1 cup of pumpkin into a small bowl and the toddler dumps it into the big mixing bowl. The 10 year old uses a spatula to scrape out any extra pumpkin from the bowl and measuring cup. The 10 year old cracks one egg into the small bowl and (after making sure that there are no shells), the toddler dumps it into the big mixing bowl. The 10 year old helps the 5 year old measure out 1/4 cup oil into the bowl and the toddler dumps it into the big bowl. Repeat with 1/4 water and 1 1/2 cup maple syrup. Let the toddler whisk everything together, then the 5 year old, then the 10 year old finishes up the mixing.

– The 5 year old measures out 1 3/4 cup whole spelt flour and puts it into a dry small bowl. The toddler dumps it into a new mixing bowl. The 5 year old measures out 1 tsp baking soda and the toddler helps her pour it into the new mixing bowl. Repeat with 3/4 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Let the toddler whisk everything together, then the 5 year old, then the 10 year old finishes up the mixing.

– Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and then let the toddler whisk everything together, then the 5 year old, then the 10 year old finishes up the mixing, until all clumps are gone.Cousins baking with tongue

– The 10 year old greases a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and pours the batter into the pan. The 5 year old can help push the batter into the pan with a spatula and together the 10 year old and the 5 year old can use the spatula to get the last of the batter out of the bowl and into the pan.

– The 10 year old puts the loaf pan onto a cookie pan and the 5 year old and the toddler stand back from the oven, while the 10 year old puts the pans into the oven, on the top rack.

– The 10 year old sets the timer for 30 minutes. When the timer beeps, the 10 year old rotates the pan, closes the oven and sets the timer for 25 more minutes. The adult will check for doneness when the timer beeps again. The 10 year old takes the hot pan from the oven and places it in a safe space to cool (on top of the stove if the space is available).

– After the bread as cooled for 30 or more minutes, the 5 year old can tap the pan against the counter to loosen the bread from pan (the adult will help) and the 10 year old can invert the pan to dump the bread onto a cutting board. The 10 year old can cut pieces of bread for everyone to eat.

* skip these two steps if you’re using canned pumpkin

Or, if you prefer the grown up recipe version:

Maple Pumpkin Breadmaple pumpkin bread loaves

1 pie pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 3/4 cup whole spelt flour or 1 cup 1 white and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1) Heat your oven to 350° F. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Place the pumpkin flat side down on a greased baking pan and roast until a fork easily slides through the skin, about 45 minutes – 1 hour, rotating the pan about 25 minutes in. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool.

2) Reheat it to 350° F. Scoop the pumpkin flesh into a bowl or food processor. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the pumpkin. Measure out 1 cup of pureed pumpkin and set aside the rest for later use (soup, more pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie are recommended).

3) Combine the 1 cup pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and maple syrup in a large bowl and whisk together. In a small bowl whisk together the spelt flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. And the dry mixture to the wet mixture and whisk until fully combined.

4) Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through. Let cool and enjoy!

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