Throughout my culinary expedition, Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays of the year for the wide array of food served at the dinner table. Now that we’re in the month of November, I get to use Thanksgiving as an excuse to make all sorts of festive dinner items!
Today, I wanted to start off with Pumpkin Bread! This pumpkin bread isn’t your typical sweet and dense pumpkin bar that tastes oh-so-perfect with some cream cheese frosting. Instead, this is a yeast leavened bread that both looks and tastes like pumpkin (excuse my bad decoration skills). This is an adaptation from The Flour Sack’s Pumpkin Yeast Bread Recipe with some difference in technique.
- 1 cup + 2 Tbs warm water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp Active Dry yeast
- 1 pound canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp all spice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 4 3/4 cups bread flour
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp powdered milk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- In a bowl, whisk the water, yeast, and sugar together.
- Line two medium bowls with a linen towel and dust them each generously with flour. Set aside.
- Put the pumpkin purée in a sheet of cheesecloth. Bundle it up, hold it above a small bowl, and gently squeeze the purée near the top of the bundle to release the majority of the excess moisture. Depending on the pumpkin purée used, you should have anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup excess liquid. Discard the liquid and reserve the pulp in the cheese cloth.
- Meanwhile, stir the spices together in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the bread flour, powdered milk, egg, brown sugar, salt, butter and pumpkin puree to the mixing bowl. Mix on very low speed. Over a 1 minute period, add the spice mixture and the remaining flour one scoop at a time. Add water and yeast mixture and stir well until combined. Turn the speed up to medium-low and knead the dough in the mixer.
- Scrap dough and knead a few times. Grease a large bowl and let the dough rise until doubled. (1 to 1 1/2 hours)
- Turn the dough and divide in half. Pinch off a nugget from each half, the size of a walnut, resulting 2 pumpkins 2 stems. Flatten dough and roll into tight balls. Place each ball into a linen-lined bowl. Top each large ball with the smaller dough ball. Let rise until doubled.
- Adjust the oven rack and place baking stone on it. Place a large baking dish on the bottom rack of the oven and fill it 2 inches deep with water. Preheat to 450. I didn’t have a pizza stone so I just preheated the oven with the water pan in it.
- Place the second bread in a cooler spot to prevent it from over-proofing (in my case I used two pans on the SAME rack in the oven). With floured hands turn bread onto hands and put it on a floured board with stem side up. Mark 1/4 – 1/2 inch deep cuts. Slide directly onto baking stone. Reduce to 375 and bake for 35-45 minutes.
- Repeat for other bread