Pumpkin-Date Bread

Because I think it will be easier to find here than in my LJ, the best pumpkin bread recipe I have ever had*:

3 1/3 c.flour
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t.salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cloves
2/3 c. vegetable shortening
2 c. mashed or pureed pumpkin**
2/3 c. milk
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 2/3 c. sugar
1 c. dates, pitted and chopped ***

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans (I use disposable aluminum). Combine dry ingredients (the first seven), stir and toss together with a fork or whisk. In a large bowl, combine shortening, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, milk, and dates. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing until just blended; there should be no dry flour, but there will be small bits of shortening that will disappear in baking. place in pans, bake for about one hour until a broomstraw comes out clean.

* It probably came from a cookbook,  I just can’t remember where or when.

** I bake or roast my own pumpkin — I prefer white pumpkin because of its sweet, rich flavor.
*** I use whole Medjool dates and chop them myself; the prechopped dates are much drier
.

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