Bread in a Jar

Let’s face it.  As much as I love cooking and eating around the holidays, it can become mighty overwhelming when there is food everywhere you look.  What if there were a way to make treats you could eat up to a year later?

There is!  Bread in a jar is the perfect way to enjoy your favorite quick bread after the food rush of the holidays.

First, you will need a good quick bread recipe.  I wanted to try this Pumpkin Gingerbread because it called for spelt flour and I just happen to have spelt flour I didn’t know what to do with.  (For more about spelt flour, check out this info.)  If you don’t have any spelt flour hanging around, I believe you can substitute all-purpose flour or wheat flour.  Just in case, you might want to use a different, more familiar recipe.

Pumpkin Gingerbread

3 cups sugar
½ cup canola oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
4 large eggs
2/3 cup water
1  (15 oz) can pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 ½ cups spelt flour
pumpkin bread in a jar
or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Grease, with shortening, however many wide mouth canning jars you would like to use.

pumpkin bread in a jar
make sure there are no chips or gouges along the rims
pumpkin bread in a jar
(I only did three because I wasn’t sure I would like the recipe)  If you used all of this recipe in jars, you would probably need about 10-12 jars.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, applesauce, and eggs;  beat until smooth.
pumpkin bread in a jar
Add water and beat until well blended.
pumpkin bread in a jar
Mix in pumpkin until combined.
In medium bowl, combine ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, flours, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
pumpkin bread in a jar
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend until all ingredients are mixed. The batter should have a thick consistency. Place jars on a shallow baking pan and fill about 1/2 way full.
pumpkin bread in a jar
Bake until a knife inserted comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.    While the bread is baking, wash and heat the canning lids and caps.  Keep them simmering on the stove until you’re ready for them.
pumpkin bread in a jar
When the bread is done, take one jar at a time out of the oven.   Often times the bread will rise over the top of the jar.  If this happens, cut the bread even with the top of the jar.
pumpkin bread in a jar
And of course, eat any excess because that’s the number one kitchen rule.
Wipe the rim off with a damp towel to remove any baked bread that happened to spill over.  This is a very important step in canning!  If your rim has any food on it, there’s a good chance it won’t seal.
Place a lid and cap on the jar.  Tighten as much as you can.
Even though it’s best to seal one jar at a time, I took all three out at once and capped them quickly before the jars cooled off.  Hot jars and lids also ensures a good seal.
Place jars on a folded towel and wait for the popping sound that indicates the jar has sealed.  After a few hours, run your finger along the middle top of the jar.  If it’s solid and does not move, your jar has sealed.  If the middle of the lid can be pushed down, the jar did not seal and needs to be eaten.  If jars have sealed, let them sit for 24 hours.  Don’t forget to label the bread and decorate your jar if you so wish.
pumpkin bread in a jar
Since I only used 3 canning jars, I had quite a bit of batter left over.  I divided the remaining batter in 3 small loaves,
pumpkin bread in a jar
increased the temperature to 350*, and baked for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick came out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
And now you’re done with yet another homemade gift that can be enjoyed anytime throughout the year.
p.s  this bread was awesome!!
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