What is the best way to freeze pumpkin bread? Cranberry Bread? How long will it last in the freezer and what’s the best way to serve after freezing (i.e. thaw time & reheating)? Thanks so much. Oh yeah, is there a healthier AND tasty way to make these breads other than using shortening or butter?
Our Food/Cooking Expert, Barb Kelley, says:
The best way to freeze pumpkin or other sweet bread is to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then put it into a ziplock bag. The key is wrapping the bread as airtight as possible. To thaw it, let it sit on the counter for several hours. If you need to speed the process up, you can unwrap the plastic and wrap the bread in foil. Put the foil-wrapped bread in a 250° oven for 20-30 minutes before serving. My mom swears by the defrost setting on her microwave for thawing brown breads, but I don’t trust my microwave with my baked goods.
You can almost always make bread healthier; the trick is maintaining excellent taste and texture. An easy way to lighten up brown breads is to reduce the sugar by up to one third and by substituting applesauce for up to half the oil. And speaking of oil, you can always substitute oil for solid shortening or butter with a good result. Oil is a healthier option than Crisco!
You can substitute whole wheat flour for 1/4 to 1/3 of the total flour without a huge difference in texture. You can often reduce the salt by half. I don’t recommend eliminating salt altogether because that will adversely affect flavor. Since everyone has a different idea of what is just the right taste or texture, it’s best to experiment.
I really like my pumpkin bread recipe: http://mysisterskitchen.wordpress.com/2006/09/25/perfect-pumpkin-bread/
It does contain a good bit of sugar and oil, but it also makes 5-6 loaves.