The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello, and a pumpkin raisin SD loaf to celebrate the season

nfassler's picture

Hello, and a pumpkin raisin SD loaf to celebrate the season

Hello from Oakland, CA! I'm a long-time lurker and first-time poster. I've been baking bread and pizza for over 10 years but finally took the plunge head first into sourdough breads (and don't plan to go back). Before that, I was baking primarily from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads and using Cooks Illustrated pizza dough recipe. Now, I've been making my way through the Tartine bread books, and learning tons from this site and other great resources online. 

I just made a seasonal bread I thought I'd share,which is based on the Tartine 3 formula, partially inspired by wassisname's Pumpkin Sourdough, with a bunch of random techniques I've picked up along the way. Since this was only my third bread made with 100% sourdough leavening, I probably should have done something simpler. But I'm impatient and threw caution to the wind. I didn't get the beautiful orange-hue or pumpkin-esque scoring to work out, but it was still a fantastic tasting loaf. 

Pumpkin raisin crumb

I'm still learning how best to share bread formulas, but here goes...

Pre-ferments: The night before my bake I prepared three pre-ferments.

1) Levain (150g): I used a whole rye starter at 100% hydration to prepare a whole rye levain (per suggestions on the Girl Meets Rye blog), left at room temp overnight

2) Soaker (500g flour at 80% hydration): This is a totally experimental method combining the Tartine 3 suggestion of a long autolyse with the soaker method from PR's Whole Grain Breads. The idea is that an overnight soaker will help release some sugar from the whole wheat, while the salt slows down the autolyse process. It seems to have worked...

  • 250g Community Grains red whole wheat
  • 125g Trader Joe's white whole wheat
  • 125g King Arthur bread flour
  • 12g salt
  • 400g water, room temp
  • Left at room temp overnight

3) Fruit soaker: This is my adaptation of Josey Baker's suggestion of soaking raisins to get them nice and plump. I figured since the canned pumpkin was so moist, I could soak up some of that moisture with the raisins and additional spices. 

  • 225g canned pumpkin
  • 100g raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • Left in refrigerator overnight

Bulk fermentation: The next morning I combined my levain and soaker (not fruit soaker), mixed together and started stretch & folds at 30 minute increments. I waited until the third stretch & fold to add the fruit soaker (I figured waiting to add this would help with gluten development early on, much like Tartine 3's suggestion of adding porridges later in the bulk fermentation).

Bulk fermentation after adding fruit soaker
This is after adding the pumpkin and raisin fruit soaker. It took a few more stretch & folds to get incorporated.

Proofing: I waited for about 20% increase in size during bulk fermentation (about 6 hours at room temp, ~70F), then moved on to proofing. I had some trouble previously working with such wet doughs but was much more successful this time using my bench scraper (the videos from the Chad Robertson master class and SFBI helped). Proofed in banneton for about 3 hours at room temp. Based on how my final bread looked with lots of cracking, I'm guessing I may have underproofed (but could be wrong). 

Bench rest

About to go in the oven

Baking: Baked at 450F, 20 minutes covered and 25 minutes uncovered. I prefer Josey Baker's technique of using a pizza stone (I actually use the Pizza Steel) with a dutch oven flipped on top...this way I don't have to drop my loaf into a ridiculously hot dutch oven.

The final bread was moist and just slightly sweet, with a fairly crisp even crust. The pumpkin flavor and color was just barely there, I'm guessing because of the amount of whole grains used (I might trying making this again with kabocha squash rather than canned pumpkin for a deeper pumpkin-flavor). 

nfassler's picture

It figures, the n00b making a mistake on his first post. I thought 'save' would just save a draft...and now I can't figure out how to delete the post. 

I'll share the formula once I get a chance to write it up.

dabrownman's picture

delish.  Can't wait to see the crumb and the recipe.  Save here means...... Aw Heck... It's too late Martha.  No worries just hit edit and you can change what ever you want.


Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

Great picture. We look forward to the formula!


Ru007's picture

Welcome aboard! 

I'm planning a loaf with butternut squash so its great to see how well yours turned out :)

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

What seasonings, if any, did you use? Any pumpkin pie spice kind of thing? It certainly is a lovely loaf on the outside, for sure. Welcome to the sourdough-fixated crowd! :)

It's definitely the season for pumpkin things! I made a poolish loaf last year with pumpkin ale and toasted pumpkin seeds. Not much pumpkin flavour in that ale, that's for sure! It was pretty good but not as good as the bread made with my husband's homemade beer. :)

nfassler's picture

I updated the formula in the original post. I did a mix of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg for a classic pumpkin pie spice (I didn't have any ground cloves or I would have included them too). 

nfassler's picture

Okay, hopefully it worked this time! 

I'd love your questions/feedback/comments on both the bread and how I shared the formula. I hope to share more in the future!

(P.S. Is it better to share this type of thing on the forum or in a blog for future posts?)

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I love the idea of using the baking steel as the bottom of the and then putting the pan on top!