By: Henry Hunter
As the air gets crisper and leaves begin to turn, it’s time to welcome the flavors of autumn into your kitchen. Our Sourdough Pumpkin Bread is a delightful twist on traditional sourdough, bringing together the earthy warmth of pumpkin with the tangy notes of sourdough fermentation. This bread is not only delicious but also a perfect addition to our Great Pumpkin Challenge. Learn how to shape your dough into an adorable pumpkin for a festive, seasonal treat!
– 1 cup (240 ml) active sourdough starter (100% hydration)
– 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) lukewarm water
– 2/3 cup (160 ml) pumpkin puree
– 2 teaspoons (10 g) salt
– 4 cups (480 g) bread flour
– 1/2 cup (60 g) whole wheat flour
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– Large mixing bowl
– Baker’s twine
– Round proofing basket or bowl
– Parchment paper
– Cinnamon stick (optional, for the stem)
– Prep: 15 minutes
– Proofing: 8 – 12 hours (overnight)
– Shaping and Final Proofing: 2 hours
– Baking: 40 – 45 minutes
Step 1: Prepare the Dough
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine your active sourdough starter, lukewarm water, and pumpkin puree. Mix until well incorporated.
2. Add the salt, bread flour, whole wheat flour, and spices to the mixture. Stir until it forms a sticky dough.
3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. You can add a little more flour if it’s too sticky, but remember, a slightly sticky dough is perfect for a lighter loaf.
4. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Step 2: First Proof
1. Perform a series of stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. This strengthens the dough and helps with gluten development.
2. After the initial folding, let the dough rest for 6 – 8 hours or overnight at room temperature (around 70°F or 21°C) until it’s doubled in size. The longer fermentation will enhance the flavor.
Step 3: Shaping Your Pumpkin Bread
1. Gently remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into two portions: one larger (about 2/3 of the dough) for the pumpkin body and a smaller portion (1/3 of the dough) for the stem.
2. Shape the larger portion into a round, smooth ball. This will be the body of your pumpkin.
3. Place the round dough onto a piece of parchment paper.
4. Take your baker’s twine and wrap it around the dough, cinching it in the middle to create the classic pumpkin shape.
5. Shape the smaller portion of dough into a stem shape and attach it to the top of your pumpkin.
6. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it proof for another 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and has increased in size.
Step 4: Baking Your Pumpkin
1. Preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C) with a Dutch oven inside for 30 minutes.
2. Carefully transfer your pumpkin-shaped dough (still on the parchment paper) into the preheated Dutch oven.
3. Score the top of your pumpkin with a few slashes to allow for even rising.
4. Place the lid on your Dutch oven and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Remove the lid and bake for another 20 – 25 minutes until your pumpkin bread is golden brown and makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
Step 5: Final Presentation
1. Once your pumpkin bread has cooled, you can insert a cinnamon stick into the top as a stem for a delightful finishing touch.
2. Enjoy your Sourdough Pumpkin Bread, a centerpiece that’s as delicious as it is beautiful.
Baking this Sourdough Pumpkin Bread is a labor of love that brings the flavors and colors of autumn to your table. Shaping it into a pumpkin adds a festive touch, making it a perfect entry for our Great Pumpkin Challenge. Remember to share your creation using the hashtag #greatpumpkinchallenge for a chance to win fantastic prizes. Happy baking! 🍂🎃
Hello, I’m Henry. When I sat down to write this book, I wasn’t driven by a desire for fame or fortune. It was a deeply personal experience, a calling from deep in my spirit.
These thoughts and ideas had been simmering within me for years, and I felt a pressing need to put them into words.
I had no intention of creating just another cookbook though. There are countless recipes readily available on the internet. This book, while filled with its fair share of recipes, is meant to be more than that. It’s a heartfelt exploration, a narrative that delves into the very essence of bread and its profound impact on our civilization.
As I penned each word, it was with a hope that you, the reader, would close the final page with a newfound reverence for the art of breadmaking. This book is my humble attempt to share the deeper story of bread, one that extends far beyond the confines of a kitchen.