The whole time I was shooting this bread, my cat stood inside the door that leads to the backyard and cried that she couldn’t join me. She, too, appreciates a good sweet pumpkin bread, but when it’s baked up savory instead with hazelnuts, mellow roasted garlic, rosemary, and a little swirl of molasses for complexity, she absolutely can’t resist.
This bread is a variation on a spelt-based pumpkin bread I’ve been making for years. This time, I decided to make it with whole wheat flour to keep the ingredients easier to get your hands on. If you’d like to make it with spelt instead, replace the whole wheat flour with spelt flour and add a teaspoon of psyllium seed husk powder to help replace the gluten that spelt flour has a lot less of.
Instead of cinnamon and maple syrup or brown sugar, this bread features savory flavors like herbs and garlic, roasted to a buttery perfection. If you’ve never roasted garlic before, give it a try–it’s easy. Just grab a whole head of garlic, slice off some of the pointy end (the opposite of the hard, knobby end with the little roots hanging out) to expose a cross-section of all of the inner cloves. Drizzle a little olive oil or spread a little butter on those exposed cloves and wrap the whole thing in tin foil. Stick it in a 350F-degree oven with the exposed side of the cloves (still wrapped in foil) facing up and roast for about 15 minutes, or until the cloves have become soft like room-temperature butter. If you take it out too early, you can always stick it back in.
While this savory pumpkin bread is good sliced up with butter, it also makes delicious sandwiches if you’re okay with the fragility of a quick bread versus a yeasted sandwich bread. I even like to smear it with some jam, because there’s something about the contrast of the sweet jam with the savory bread that’s really appealing, and much less strange than it sounds. This time, I had it with a cup of tea.
If you’re looking for something a little different than the traditional sweet pumpkin bread, try out this loaf. Try it out on behalf of my sad cat behind the reflection and the dirty window, the cat who couldn’t help me photograph the bread, and who (in any case) can’t actually eat bread.
Savory whole wheat pumpkin bread with roasted garlic, rosemary, and molasses.
- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 full head roasted garlic, mashed into a paste
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
If you don't have a head of garlic already roasted, do that part now: slice off the pointy top end of a full head of garlic, drizzle the exposed cloves with a little olive oil, and wrap in aluminum foil. Stick in a 350F oven for 15 minutes. If you have garlic already roasted, skip this step and just preheat your oven to 350F.
Mix pumpkin puree, eggs, and olive oil in a large bowl.
Add water, molasses, sea salt, baking soda, black pepper, and rosemary to the wet mixture and combine.
Add hazelnuts and mix.
Mix in the flour last, stirring to combine.
Pour into a greased 8x5 or 9x5 loaf pan (I lined the bottom and long sides of mine with parchment for easy removal). Bake for 1 hour at 350F. Allow to cool before slicing.