Another thing to add to the list of “kitchen items I’ve wasted too much time ignoring because I was afraid of them”…
My cast iron skillet.
Why? I honestly have no idea.
Because it’s heavy? Because it doesn’t go in the dish washer? Because it doesn’t get cleaned normally like any other item in my kitchen? Because I wasn’t really sure how to clean it? Because for whatever reason stovetop pots that actually can go in the oven give me anxiety?
Because I was terrified of dropping it on my already fragile, twice dislocated pinky toe?
Well…I bit the bullet and went ahead and brought my skillet out, and like every other time I’ve used it (read two in total, including this recipe) it did not let me down.
Pumpkin bread baked in the cast iron skillet is everything. It elevates any pumpkin bread recipe by creating this glorious perfectly crisp crust with a soft, fluffy, evenly cooked interior. You know how the best cookies are crisp around their slightly chewy edges then soft and pillowy inside? Yea, same thing with this bread. The edges almost caramelize while baking in the skillet. It’s magic. I may never, ever use a loaf pan again.
We followed THIS simple and easy recipe, however we added 1 cup each of raisins and walnuts to our batter.
PS, my husband is the king of AllRecipes.
NOTE: This recipe is massive and yielded two giant loafs of pumpkin bread. One was clearly made in the skillet. This loaf was tender and soft on the inside, not too dense and caramelized crisp on the edges. The skillet bread cooked for exactly 35 minutes and cooled in the skillet for 10. In no way was it dry, but it had texture. The second loaf we made in the rectangular bread loaf pan. The second loaf cooked for 50 minutes and cooled in the loaf pan for another 15. We then wrapped the loaf tightly in clear plastic wrap and kept it wrapped overnight. This softened the loaf and created a rich, gooey, glazy top…almost like it developed its own glaze. The second one was incredibly soft and moist with no texture. It was also slightly more dense. It’s way to hard for me to pick a favorite but I do think the skillet baked bread is prettier and there is something to say about those sweet, crispy edges!