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Samhain pumpkin bread is kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it?
Pumpkins. Pumpkin spice. Warm, home-cooked bread.
It’s perfect for the season, and a real crowd-pleaser.
This bread is perfect at all times of day. It’s a slice of heaven in the morning, but it can also be the perfect shared dessert during a Samhain potluck.
Pumpkin bread can also bring us closer to the memory of our ancestors.
It helps remind us that we are part of a long lineage, and that our modern world is very disconnected from nature.
Baking Bread During Samhain
This festival takes place just before all of the plants begin to die.
The colder air would have brought no small amount of fear to our ancestors.
They would wonder if their family would survive the coming winter. Maybe they would have been afraid that the sun wouldn’t return in the spring.
While Samhain is a time of abundance, where our food storage is overflowing with the fruits of the summer, it is also a time of preparation and ritual for the sun god.
Baking bread is one of many ways that we honor the sun’s energy.
We take some of the wheat we have stored for the winter and use it to feed our friends and our family.
And, if we leave some as an offering on our Samhain altar or outside, it is used to feed the spirits and the gods.
Baking bread for Samhain, then, is one way to reconnect with our ancestors and with the earth.
We recognize the earth’s bounties, and at the same time we recognize that we are coming into a leaner time.
When should you bake Samhain bread?
Traditionally, the bread is baked on October 30th, the night before Samhain.
If you invite friends over to bake with you, this is also a time of drinking mead and being merry.
Of course, if you’re alone this Samhain, you can still drink with the spirits.
Why You Should Make Samhain Pumpkin Bread
Samhain bread takes the fruits of the sun god’s power (wheat, pumpkin, herbs grown in the sun) and repackages it so that it can nourish us and the spirits around us.
Plus, it’s really tasty!
I recommend making more than one loaf of this bread.
Have enough to more than feed any guests you may have for Samhain, plus enough to offer to the gods and spirits.
The veil between the mortal world and the world of spirits and deities becomes thinner during Samhain.
That means offerings will appease negative spirits, while also nourishing positive spirits.
These offerings are essential to keep those negative spirits away from you and your family during the dark and cold months of winter.
You should also bake this bread, or any bread, to honor your ancestors.
Connect with them. Remember their hardships, and tell stories of the ones you remember.
And don’t forgive to give thanks as you share this bread with loved ones.
Be thankful for the ingredients, and for your ancestors, and for the sun’s energy.
How To Customize This Samhain Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin breads can be customized in many ways!
For instance, some pumpkin breads are topped with a cream cheese frosting.
Or you can change the nuts included in the bread, or leave the nuts out altogether.
If you will be making more than one loaf of this Samhain pumpkin bread, experiment with the ingredients a bit.
Of course, don’t stray too far from the basic ingredients or you might have a disaster on your hands.
But you can decide what topping goes on the bread, or if it will have nuts, or how much cinnamon will be put in it.
Samhain Pumpkin Bread Recipe
This pumpkin bread recipe represents everything we love about fall.
Warm baked goods, perfectly seasoned, with all the fruits of a bountiful harvest.
Share this bread with your loved ones and have a blessed Samhain.
- 3 cups of sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 small can of pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 2/3 cup of nuts
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of cloves
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- Mix sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil well.
- Mix in pumpkin and vanilla.
- Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves, and water.
- Add nuts.
- Bake at 350 for around 50 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.
Vintage Pumpkin Bread Recipe
This bonus recipe comes from Lettice Byan in The Kentucky Housewife. It’s a recipe from 1839!
Pumpkin breads at that time were less sweet, and used cornmeal instead of flour.
Making this recipe is a great way to honor your ancestors with a traditional bread they are more likely to recognize.
These will be more like pancakes than a loaf, but they are still an interesting and delicious treat.
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 Cups of Stone-Ground Cornmeal
- 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Butter, Melted
- 1 Egg (no larger than large)
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix the pumpkin puree and the cornmeal
- Add the salt, butter, egg and milk.
- Mix together until well-blended.
- Drop the batter onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets. Try to make them roughly tablespoon sized, and keep in mind they will spread as they cook.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Best served hot.
- Serve with any toppings you like, from butter to syrup and sugar.