This bread does not surf, but it does occasionally get served with ocean water and sand – depending on how hungry I am by the time I make it out of the Pacific. Hunger is inversely proportional to my reserve of patience, which in turn is necessary peel off the wetsuit (a.k.a. straitjacket) and dry my face before digging in. While I know that pumpkin bread is a typical winter treat, I sort of procrastinated with inventing a recipe since last Halloween. Yeah. Until a few weeks ago, when the night before a surfing session I stumbled upon a slightly dusty can of pumpkin in my pantry. And I was seriously craving some baked goods. And I also seriously need to clean out my pantry in preparation for a big move, so all these pounds of mysterious flours have to go. Five minutes later, my dry-erase board and I were having a blast coming up with proportions, and Imagine Dragons’ ‘On Top of the World’ was giving us a little pep in our step. The end product received an enthusiastic stamp of approval from my buddies… and their buddies… good thing I baked two loaves. So in spite of tradition, from now on the taste of pumpkin bread will forever remind me of a brilliant sunny sky, frothy aquamarine waves and the taste of salt on my lips. Here it comes then, from me to you – Surfing Pumpkin Bread!


Surfing Pumpkin Bread

(yield: 2 loaves, preparation: 15 minutes, total time: 1 hour 15 minutes, difficulty: easy)


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 3/4 cup gluten
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 3/4 cups water


Let’s start with a warning:  spelt flour does contain fructans. I seem to be fine with the FODMAP load in this bread as long as I don’t have more than two slices at a time, but if you’re very sensitive, consider using only rice flour and add 1 extra tablespoon of gluten. The bread might come out a little more moist that way.

The preparation is ridiculously easy. Melt the butter in a big bowl, add sugar, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract and mix well with an electric mixer. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients. Add a third of those to the wet mixture, incorporate till smooth. Add a cup of water, mix carefully to avoid splashing; then, alternate the flour mix and water till you’ve added the full amount of both. Line the inside of two loaf tins (mine are 5 x 9 x 3 inches) with butter, pour in the cake batter and bake at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Let the bread cool, cover with a clean linen towel and store in a cool, dry place or slice it up and freeze.

If you want a richer flavour, use milk instead of water – lactose-free dairy or rice milk would work well. As is, I like this bread most with Chevre (I’m OK with a little lactose) and salami but I imagine sweet toppings would work just as well, if not better.


This photo is a bonus – kudos to everybody who can name the surfboard!


  1. Silvana says:

    Delicious!! I had the pleasure to try it recently and all I can say is that this recipe is a keeper. Loved the post too!

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