Neil Robinson

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Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

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We recently harvested the pumpkins growing in our garden, in time for baking pumpkin pie, making pumpkin soup, and for a change, I decided to try making a pumpkin bread. It was quite a bit of an experiment, but it came out great.

The recipe is:

  • 600 ml water
  • 215 g starter
  • 500 g fresh pumpkin purée
  • 200 g whole wheat flour
  • 900 g white bread flour

Even reducing the water from 750 ml to 600 ml, I ended up using a total of 1100 g of flour instead of the usual 1000 g. Potentially I could reduce the water even more, but I have baked this twice now and I really like the fuller sized loaves that come from the extra flour. I had a very creamy pumpkin, rather than a watery one for this round of baking. Here you can see the dough after had risen, prior to splitting it into loaves.

Pumpkin bread risen dough

Pumpkin bread risen dough

Here is another image of the dough on the table before it was split into loaves. It has a noticeable orange-yellow cast to it.

Pumpkin bread dough before making loaves

Pumpkin bread dough before making loaves

Even after being formed into loaves prior to placement in the proofing baskets, there is a noticeable yellowish color.

Pumpkin bread dough before proofing

Pumpkin bread dough before proofing

For this batch I switched from using rice flour to using corn meal to line the proofing baskets and as a top dressing for the loaves. It results in a nice crunch when biting into the crust. Everything else was pretty much the same, except for the baking times. For this recipe I went with 23 minutes with the cover on and 26.5 minutes with the cover off. The result can be seen below.

Pumpkin bread finished loaf

Pumpkin bread finished loaf

Here in the image of the slice bread below you can see a clear color change when compared to more typical peasant loaves. The resulting crumb was also softer and the bread retained a moist texture for a longer period of time.

Pumpkin bread sliced

Pumpkin bread sliced

Eating the bread we didn’t notice any significant taste of pumpkin, but the mouth feel of the bread was vastly improved. I suspect similar results can be had with puréed carrots, butternut squash, and other vegetables.

Happy Baking!

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