The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pumpkin Bread

amolitor's picture
amolitor

Pumpkin Bread

We broke up a jack-o-lantern for soup the other day (just a regular pumpkin, not a sugar-pie or anything, not a pumpkin especially for eating but of course edible). Had a couple cups of mashed baked pumpkin left over, so I thought I'd see what happened when I put it in bread. I wasn't expecting much flavor, since the regular pumpkins just don't have that much. The answer, in short, was: Eh, it's bread. Sort of moist.


The long answer:


Evening of Day 0:



  • 1 cup whole flour

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 2 T active sourdough starter


Let sit out overnight, covered, until you get a nice active/ripe sponge the next day.


Morning of Day 1



  • 1 cup warm water

  • 2 cups mashed baked pumpkin.. gunk

  • ripe sponge from last night

  • 4 cups bread flour (roughly)


Mix in the bowl to get a kneadable dough. I used a 10 minute autolyze at this point because I wanted to make muself some coffee.


This is where it gets interesting: The dough was kneadable without sticking on a wooded board (just barely -- this is my preferred dough texture). I kneaded in:



  • 2 and 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp ground coriander (I think this was an error)


and kept kneading. The dough kept getting sticker, and I kept dusting aggressively with flour. I think this not uncommon when you're adding vegetable matter to a dough, I have a potato bread recipe that's similar. I think the vegetables give up water as you work them. I kneaded for about 10 minutes on board, working in probably 3/4 cup of flour just to maintain it at "almost but not quite sticking to the floured board." At this point I gave up, and started kneading it as a high-hydration dough (slap it down, let it stick, streeeeetch a bit and fold it over, rotate 90 degrees and repeat) for another ten minutes. Thankfully, it didn't get much wetter.


Bulk rise a couple hours, with a couple stretch-and-folds, the dough came together beautifully. However, it tasted TERRIBLE, or possibly I was having a stroke. I *think* the coriander was doing something unpleasant, so the dough tasted fine for a few seconds, and then there was this weird bitter thing that happened in your mouth.


Anyways. Shaped into a boule, proofed in improvised banneton, preheat over to 475, bake with steam at 425 for 45 minutes. Probably should have baked longer.


The bad taste seems to be gone (thankfully) and what we're left with is a completely unremarkable sourdough that's rather moist (almost gummy) and has a lovely color. It's too moist to toast easily, which is a bore, I'd bake it another 10 or 15 minutes if I was to do it again (which I won't -- this recipe was a bust, to my mind!)


It's the best looking loaf I've ever baked, though, so by golly, here's some pictures:




 


Crumb very moist. You can see bits of pumpkin in it! Sorry for the sort of lousy photo, this was in the evening: