The Hollywood Monastery Pumpkin Bread recipe, shared by an order of cloistered nuns living in Hollywood, California, is absolutely heavenly.
Hollywood Nuns are Famous -- for Their Pumpkin Bread
Located just over a half mile from the entertainment epicenter of Hollywood & Vine sits the Monastery of the Angels, an order of Dominican Nuns founded in 1924. Dedicated to a life of prayer, study and penance, the order of 18 nuns lives and works primarily in silence as they contemplate their relationship with God.
Several decades ago, one of the novitiates baked her Grandmother's family recipe for pumpkin bread to celebrate The Feast of St. Martha, the patron saint of servants and cooks. The nuns liked it so much that they decided to sell it in their little gift shop to raise funds for their order and its charitable programs. It is still made at the monastery today, at a rate of approximately 800 loaves a day. If you live locally you can order it (and other treats) for pickup, or they ship around the world. A 2 pound loaf of pumpkin bread currently sells for $14.50 from their gift shop.
So Easy and Delicious to Make at Home
With fall upon us, you may want to bake a few loaves at home. It's easy to make, and super moist and flavorful. They are beautiful and make a lovely gift. And the smell in the house while they're baking is out of this world!
This recipe makes three 8" x 4" loaves which are nice to serve at a holiday brunch or to share with friends and family. For the best results you should use three loaf pans that are all 8" x 4". If you use different sized pans it will impact the size of the loaves and the baking time, and you may not get the results you are hoping for. I only have two 8" x 4" pans, so rather than use my other larger one, I borrowed an 8" x 4" from my neighbor and returned it to her with a loaf of pumpkin bread inside!
Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
- Baking soda
- Vegetable oil
- Canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- Walnut halves
Just a Few Tips for Perfect Pumpkin Bread
- Use the correct size loaf pans for perfectly sized loaves (8" x 4")
- Hand stir the ingredients rather than use an electric mixer so as not to overwork the batter
- Grease the loaf pans well with butter or baking spray for easy removal of the bread
- Test with a wooden toothpick - bread is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
Let's make some pumpkin bread that will have everyone singing your praises!
Hollywood Monastery Pumpkin Bread
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 4 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup oil
- ⅔ cup water
- 15 oz canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix
- walnut halves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using butter or baking spray, grease the baking pans well.
- Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, water and canned pumpkin. Pour into the dry ingredients, mixing by hand until fully blended.
- Fill each loaf pan evenly with batter, then top with walnut halves over all.
- Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes more before cutting and serving.