Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter

A traditional fall quick bread, but with a more cozy, toasty twist: brown butter in the batter. Browning butter toasts up the milk solids in the sauté pan, which adds a welcome, nutty complexity to both savory and sweet foods. The depth of flavor complements the fresh pumpkin puree and the baking spices, and I'd highly recommend attempting this technique with other cold weather treats. Makes one 9x5 inch loaf.
1 ¾CUPSall purpose flour, plus additional for pan
¼TSPNbaking powder
1TSPNbaking soda
¼TSPNnutmeg, freshly grated
CUPunsalted butter, plus additional for pan
1CUPgranulated sugar
2Xeggs, beaten
1CUPpumpkin puree
1TSPNvanilla extract
1CUPchocolate chips, toasted nuts, or other mix-in, optional

  1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan, tapping out excess, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk together ingredients, and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place the sugar in the bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once the foam subsides, the butter will begin to turn a golden brown and give off a nutty aroma. Gently stir for about one minute, and quickly transfer browned butter to a small bowl. Let cool slightly for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the butter to the sugar, and turn the mixer on to medium, and mix until light and fluffy.
  6. Add the eggs, then the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir just until combined. 
  7. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients, and gently fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula. Stir in the chocolate chips or nuts, if using, and transfer batter to prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 60 minutes in center rack of the oven, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, and then remove loaf from the pan to allow to cool completely.

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