… Pumpkin Bread Mix that Gives Anna Every Right to be Proud!
The first time I tasted Breads from Anna Pumpkin Bread it turned out to be just a huge tease. “A tease?” you might be asking. Yes, a huge tease. I was at the Gluten and Allergen Free (GFAF) Expo and there were samples, albeit too small, being handed out to interested bystanders. Well, being that I am a huge pumpkin bread lover, I did not remain a bystander for very long. I politely nudged my way to the person with the plate of samples and graciously received her offer of a taste. I could tell by the feel of the bread when I picked it up that it was fresh, tender, and moist. I smelled it to see if it had a genuine pumpkin scent, or if there were any “chemical” scents or uninviting aromas. Nope! Genuine pumpkin! When I placed this tiny sample (actually it would have been a big enough bite had I found the bread not to my liking), in my mouth, well, I practically forgot my manners and pushed my way back to the sample table for the ENTIRE plate of tasters. Yes, folks, it was that good! It was like eating the best filling of any pumpkin pie combined with the best cake you’ve ever had. Only better:-D Tender, moist, a texture that almost melts in your mouth, with hints of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Okay, my mouth is watering just recalling that moment. So there was only one thing I could possibly do … I had to bring a bag of the mix back to Daily Forage so I could do my own empirical testing. Is it really as good as I remembered?
When I was ready to begin my review back in my own kitchen, I made sure I mixed the recipe according to the directions, using the “to be added” ingredients that my kitchen normally has on hand. The list was simple: 2 eggs, 1/3 cup canola oil, and 1 cup canned pumpkin (I always use Libby’s because it is has a consistent texture and flavor). I stirred in the dry mix and was set to bake. Since the package says the mix can either be baked in a loaf pan or made into muffins, I decided to do a little of each. The batter was very thick and had a very slight elasticity to it. Not a lot, just a little. But honestly, I wasn’t sure if this was going to translate to a spongey or rubbery texture once baked. Using an ice cream scooper, I scooped some of the batter into pre-greased muffin tins, and some into a mini loaf pan that I also pre-greased and lightly floured with potato starch. Then into the oven went the pans.
I watched the muffins and bread begin baking. I like to watch how things behave at different stages of the baking process. Analyzing provides great insights into my own recipes. As I watched the pumpkin items baking, I noticed that after about 4 minutes, the muffins and bread were rising a great deal more than most recipes do at that stage. I began to wonder if these were going to rise quickly, then collapse, as one of my Oh No experiments had resulted in a personal recipe in the past. All I could do was wait. Only time, baking time, would truly tell. So I waited.
While I was waiting, and watching every few minutes, I began to enjoy the scent of warm, fresh pumpkin bread wafting through the air. The sweet smell of … oh, YES, they didn’t collapse … success! I removed the pans from the oven at the appropriate time, and placed them on a cooling rack. “How long do I have to wait?” I blurted out loud like an anxious little kid. I waited … only five minutes … to remove these delicious looking, tastebud tantalizing, baked pumpkin goodies from the pans. And it was time to taste.
Warm out of the oven, the muffins and bread were moist, tender, and definitely not spongey or rubbery, as I had been previously concerned. They held their shape, no collapsing, even while being handled warm. And the flavors stayed true to the pumpkin and spices.
Knowing that I couldn’t complete a thorough review with tastes only from warm baked goodies, I had to walk away for about an hour and return when the bread and muffins had reached room temperature. Tick-tock, tick-tock.
Finally at room temp, I had to remind myself that I was doing a taste-test, not an inhaling. So with unbiased, objectivity I cut a muffin in half. Still a perfect texture. I sliced a few pieces of the bread. Still a perfect crumb. Yes, these are the real deal. A bread mix which is free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nuts, and rice, that can rank at the top of any non-allergy-free scale. Can I give this mix a Daily Forage rating of more than three stars? I guess I just did!
Now, if you’re still reading, and you say to yourself, “But I really am not a fan of pumpkin,” know that Breads from Anna come in a variety of flavors. Check out their website and find a flavor (or many flavors) that are right for you. You won’t be sorry!
P.S. Try spreading a spoonful of nut butter on two slices and making a tasty sandwich. Or use it as a base for french toast. Yum!
Daily Forage Rating: ◊◊◊+
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!