This 10-Second Hack Will Help You Determine Pumpkin Bread Doneness

There's nothing more frustrating than slicing into a loaf of quick bread and finding that the inside didn't quite cook through. The line between drying out your pumpkin bread and reaching the perfect level of tender moistness can be a tricky one. Unfortunately, due to the wet nature of these baked goods, it's far more likely that the top of your bread will pass beyond its prime golden brown color before the interior can sufficiently cook. Southern Living is sympathetic to this baker's plight, explaining that the top of the bread should start to crack as it approaches completion. While you might have pictured a perfectly smooth top, a crack is the perfect excuse to cover your pumpkin bread with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Since pumpkin bread and other dense baked goods like banana bread spend a lot of time in the oven, it's easy to assume they'll be ready after an hour or so. The top might be golden brown and a skewer inserted to the bottom could indicate that the lower portion is cooked through. Yet, when it comes time to slice the bread, part of it remains undercooked. Southern Living suggests an additional check that will lessen your chances of future pumpkin bread failures: simply insert a skewer into the top half-inch of your bread.

How should you adjust your baking method?

Due to its density, pumpkin bread requires a slow and even baking process. Unfortunately, if you leave the bread in the oven until it is fully cooked through, you risk burning the top. A golden-brown loaf is a baker's ultimate goal, whereas a dark brown that's bordering on burnt is less desirable. Thankfully, Southern Living has the ideal trick to ensure your pumpkin bread bakes all the way through without burning. If you check the top section of the loaf and find it's undercooked, simply tent a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the loaf pan and pop the bread back into the oven so that the inside can continue to cook to completion.

To cover all of your bases, AllRecipes suggests monitoring whether or not the oven temperature is too high, which will cook the bread unevenly and too quickly in some areas. Decreasing the heat by about 25 F before adding the tinfoil cover is recommended by The Baking ChocolaTess. The food blogger also warns that baking time can vary a great deal if you are using a loaf pan with different measurements than the one from your recipe. With these extra tricks up your sleeves, you will be able to enjoy moist tender pumpkin bread without any disappointments this fall.