The key to a moist pumpkin bread is having the right amount of pumpkin puree. If you skimp on the puree, the flour will overpower the mix and the bread will come out crumbly and dry. If you find yourself short on puree when baking, substitute the missing quantity with another wet ingredient. Aside from the ingredients, temperature and baking times play a huge role in the moisture level of the bread. Overcooked bread at too high a temperature will lose most of its water and come out denser and dry.
Mix together the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, in a large bowl and set aside.
Beat the oil and sugar together in a separate bowl until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and water. Stir in the pumpkin puree. If you are short on puree, consider substituting the missing quantity with apple sauce, carrot or zucchini puree or honey. For a yet moister loaf, add 1/2 more of pumpkin puree or any of the ingredients listed above. Remember that while moisture is good, too much will cause the bread to get spongy and not rise properly, leaving you with a dense and gummy loaf.
Mix the dough well and pour into greased pans. You can use small or large loaf pans or muffin pans. Fill the molds 2/3 from the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 50 minutes if using loaf pans, or 20 to 25 minutes if using muffin pans. Check the loaves regularly with a toothpick to test doneness and to make sure it is not browning too quickly.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Store loaves or muffins in airtight containers to preserve moistness, as no matter how moist the recipe, exposure to air will cause the bread to dry out.
Pumpkin bread that has slightly dried after a few days can be rejuvenated by placing on a moist paper towel inside of the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.