Pumpkin Bread

It’s that time of year again where if you grow your own you will be surrounded by pumpkins and even if you don’t grow your own there are plenty in the shops ( at least I hope they are…). I first made this bread and posted the recipe back in 2016 on my other website The Ordinary Cook but it is definitely one to repeat here. I was reminded to do so when scrolling through Instagram and seeing that Cath from Broome Park Farm B&B had a lovely haul of pumpkins and was requesting recipes. This is one of my all time favourite breads, it is such a gorgeous colour and tastes delicious.

I used a pumpkin with a very yellow flesh.

pumpkin
sliced pumpkin

I roasted the pumpkin rather than steaming it. I wanted the sweetness that comes with roasting and I wanted the moisture content of the pumpkin to be reduced. It made quite a stiff purée, so the measurements I give here for water may need to be adapted to suit your particular purée. If it’s wetter, then reduce the water, if it’s drier, add more. You get the idea. The key with bread is always err on the side of too wet rather than too dry. A dry dough will make a brick of a loaf. What you are aiming for is a soft and slightly tacky dough.

Ingredients

375g pumpkin puree (made from pumpkin, skinned and cut into chunks and roasted until tender, then whizzed with a blender or processor or pressed through a sieve)
5g easy bake yeast or 15g fresh yeast
10g fine sea salt
300g white strong flour
150g water (see above for note on the amount of water needed, I use cold water and allow more time for my loaf to do its first rise, this improves the flavour)

Method

Place the pumpkin puree into a large bowl or free standing mixer. Add the remaining ingredients (if you are using fresh yeast just crumble it into the flour, remember to keep it separate from the salt, as salt kills yeast). Add the water cautiously at first as you may need less, you may need more (see note above). You want a dough that is soft and slightly tacky.  If using a free standing mixer, mix on speed 1 until combined and then for a further 5 minutes until the dough is well mixed and feels soft and satiny.  If doing it by hand use one hand as a claw to mix the ingredients together. It should be soft and very slightly sticky, adjust the water accordingly. If you have added too much water and your dough is sloppy then add flour until it gets to a soft dough.  The water content of the pumpkin will continue to hydrate the flour so you don’t want to have too wet a dough. Leave the dough to rest and then either knead the dough or use my preferred method for developing the dough of using the stretch and fold method. Cover with a large plastic bag or oiled clingfilm and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 220C, gas mark 8, 425F, placing a baking sheet onto the oven shelf (a loaf benefits from being placed onto a hot surface).

Gently deflate your dough and tip onto a lightly floured surface. Shape your bread into a round or bloomer. (You can see from the photo below that I did the second prove in a banneton but you don’t need one).  Place your loaf onto an oiled tray and cover with oiled clingfilm to rise until it’s grown to one and a half times its size.

When it’s ready to bake, (turn out of the banneton if using), make a slash or two on the top  with a  sharp knife (this tells the loaf where to expand when it has its last burst of growth in the oven, otherwise it will burst at its weakest point and not look so attractive) and place onto the preheated baking tray.  Either spray the oven walls with water (be careful around the light and the glass of the oven door) or have a tray in the bottom of the oven to tip a cup of water into. The steam helps your loaf do its best rise. Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes. Check if the loaf is cooked by tapping on its bottom, it should sound hollow. If you have an probe thermometer the loaf should read 90C at the centre.  Place on a wire rack to cool completely before enjoying.

Looking for more bread recipes?

My online Savoury Bread course shows you how to shape and flavour your bread in different ways so that you can make a huge variety of breads to impress your family and friends.

Fancy soup with your pumpkin bread?

Zoe at Butterbelle made my Pumpkin Bread to go with her Pumpkin & Parsnip Soup and it sounds like a match made in heaven.

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