The Fresh Loaf

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zolablue's picture

I baked my very old recipe for pumpkin bread this weekend. I love this very spicy recipe and like to add more cinnamon than called for as I always do with that spice. It is a very moist pumpkin bread and also very fragrant. You can see how easy it is to make as well. You basically measure and dump everything together and mix.

The batter is cake-like and easily ladled into whatever baking dish or mold you choose. I love to make these in the NordicWare mini-rose bundt pans. This recipe makes 15 roses when filled only 2/3 full. Each rose is a one-cup mold so that gives you an idea of the yield. I haven’t made it in the small loaf pans for quite a while but if I remember it makes at least 3 or 4 small loaf pans.

NordicWare makes many wonderful forms so the sky is the limit. I love these wonderful heavy pans and the baked goods are so easy to get out. No worry at all. I just give a quick spray with Pam and they fall right out.

Hope you might think about trying this recipe when you want a nice, moist, spicy treat.


Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar

1 cup oil

4 large eggs

2/3 cup water

2 cups pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cloves

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside

Cream sugar and oil together. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, pumpkin, water, and dry ingredients. Mix together until just combined.

Grease pans well. Fill pans, cans or molds 2/3 full.

Bake 50 – 60 minutes if using loaf pans or 25 – 30 minutes for the rose mold or similar mini-bundt pan size. Bake until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake.

bwraith's picture

Essential's Columbia 

Essential Columbia Loaves

Essential Columbia Crust and Crumb

Essential Columbia Crumb

I've been prodded by a certain TFL friend (username starts with "Z") to do this recipe, and I finally got around to it. I have to say it's too bad this didn't happen sooner. The recipe is just excellent. I've included some photos of the process and a spreadsheet of the recipe I used.

The recipe I followed is almost exactly as specified in Artisan Baking by Maggie Glezer on pages 82-83 except I doubled the recipe and made 4 loaves. I used Wheat Montana AP in place of the bread flour and KA Organic AP in place of the AP flour in the recipe. I made the firm levain using 36g of my 90% hydration starter in 321g of Wheat Montana AP and  197g of water. The inoculation is slightly lower, and I'm starting with a somewhat higher hydration storage starter, since that's what I had on hand. I made the inoculation lower than what is specified to gain a few hours in my overnight levain fermentation, since I knew the dough would not be mixed for about a full 12 hours after the levain was mixed.

I kneaded the dough by hand using the suggested Glezer technique of working up and down the dough squeezing it and extruding it through my fingers. I also did some of her folding motions The slashing was easy, since this bread is only at about 65% hydration or so. I had to add a little more water because the Wheat Montana AP seems to absorb a little more water, but it is a firm, fairly dry dough. The flavor with the toasted wheat germ, whole wheat (I used Wheat Montana Bronze Chief), and whole rye was outstanding. The firm levain was just peaked when I used it, and the smells coming out of it were very pleasant when I added it to the dough.

I had a little trouble with the shaping stage. The dough was very gassy, even though I stopped the bulk fermentation after 3 hours, before it had doubled, as specified. As I shaped the first one, it just seemed like the dough needed to be deflated or I would have gigantic holes in it, so I did aggressively pat down the loaves, form them into rough ovals and let them relax a few minutes before forming batards.

I've been experimenting with my newly installed outdoor brick oven, which has been a bit tricky to figure out. I scorched the bottoms of these loaves a little, so a couple of extra moppings of the oven floor may help to cool down the hearth just enough. The temperature of the dome and air seemed good, as all but the bottoms seemed to come out nicely baked with the firing I gave it this time, which gets the hearth up to about 530F, the air temperature to about 450F, and the dome up around 600F. Those are just the temperatures right after firing. Then, I turn off the fire, let the oven cool with the metal door in place, and mop the hearth floor before starting to bake. I have been especially pleased with the ability to steam the oven with a garden spray mister and seal it with a wet, towel covered wooden door. The crusts are coming out great this way, and the freedom to do larger amounts all at once adds some fun to the whole process. Being outdoors while baking is pleasant too, but I'm not sure what will happen in the winter.

The other bonus of the brick oven has been that the retained heat can be used to cook an entire very delicious roasted dinner. For example, after baking I've done lobsters, corn-on-the-cob, and asparagus, and roast leg-of-lamb, candied yams, and roast cabbage, and roast chickens, roasted halved potatoes, and garlic heads. So, you can enjoy a whole afternoon of baking and cooking from firing the oven one time before baking.

dolfs's picture

I got the book last week, so today, my regular baking day, I wanted to make some. As luck would have it, after having started baking in April, I had finally decided to create a sourdough starter, but had to delay until recently due to my vacation. Last week I started creating Maggie Glezer's firm french style starter (as well as a whole wheat and rye version). The composition of that starter is identical to Leader's stiff levain (although the feeding formula is slightly different), so I used this in the recipe.

Leader's Pain au levainLeader's Pain au levain

Leader's Auvergne Rye Baguette with pancettaLeader's Auvergne Rye Baguette with pancetta 

I refreshed the starter shortly before midnight last night and it was good and ready this morning at 8:30. Both recipes use the same stiff levain, and use the exact same formula to create the levain starter (with some whole wheat added), so I made this as a single batch. I used KA AP flour (I discovered that my local Whole Foods sells Guisto's type 55 in bulk, but have not gotten it yet). I mixed the dough for the baguette about an hour later than that for the levain (scheduling reasons). I pretty much followed the rest of the instructions. Did one fold after 1 hour. Bulk fermentation took about 3.5-4 hours. I did insert a 10 minute bench rest before shaping. Proof took about one hour and 45 minutes. I did use a linnen couche so there was some additional work and care needed to transfer to the peel.


One thing I noticed is that in this book I finally found the correspondence between mixing settings describe as low/medium and the corresponding numeric setting on the KA mixer I have. That, combined with the 8-9 minutes mixing time seemed to make a far better dough than I've had before (I never mixed that fast, or that long). Could also be the starter though. I'll find out next time I make a non-sourdough.


The Pain au levain was scored in two different ways: one long slash, and several smaller and diagonal slashes. The dough took the slashes quite well. Steamed in cast iron pan with hot water and ice, and used a 3/4 in baking stone preheated for 1 hour. Oven spring was unbelievable! The crust did not quite turn out as nice and brown as I expected from pictures, but cutting and testing proofed this to be a non-issue. The crust was crackling during cooling and was superb when I finally ate the bread.

 crumbLeader's Pain au levain: crumb

The baquettes were pretty much a similar story, except that I used pancetta instead of bacon, and I did not retard the shaped loaves overnight. They just had their almost 2 hour proof. I made them just too long for my oven, causing the tips to be squashed against back of the oven and door. Slashes worked out ok, but no ears. Crust and texture on the baguettes was fabulous. The pancetta is not as strong as bacon, and there was no overnight retardation to absorb flavors, so this was mild, but still very good!

 crumbLeader's Auvergne Rye Baguette with pancetta: crumb 

AnnieT's picture

I think it was Rosalie who commented on the confusing amounts of information found in all of our baking books. Forgive me if it wasn't you, Rosalie. Since I bought my instant read thermometer I have been careful to bake my loaves to 105*, give or take. I just got Kiko Denzer's book "Build your own earth oven" from the library and I really want to build one. However, in her chapter on sourdough bread his wife says that we should aim for 190* and anything over 200* is overbaked and the bread will stale quickly. So who do I believe? A.

susanfnp's picture

This bread is almost 100% whole grain, except for a small amount of white starter. It uses whole wheat and rye flour, and a soaker of flax seeds, sesame seeds, bulgur, and oats.

The recipe, along with a bit about what happens when you overproof it, is here. (These loaves are not overproofed, but the first ones I made were.)

Seeded Whole Grain Bread


weavershouse's picture

I finally made the English muffins, thanks browndog, etc. I made one batch with milk and one batch with buttermilk. I did add 1 TBL. olive oil and used 1/2 cup starter. Neither had open holes but still tasted very good with the buttermilk batch having a little more flavor. The picture shows the crumb (both batches looked the same inside and out). My picture is not very good and I sent my daughter home with all the nicest looking muffins. These were, as everyone who made them said, very easy indeed and very good. No more store ones for us. I used a 3" cutter and only got 7 from one batch and 8 from another. Next time I'll roll them thinner so they cook faster. I did put them in the oven for 10 min. to be sure they were cooked because they were so thick.


My husband brought in this 3rd big basket of red peppers from the garden. What to do with them??? I've already frozen, fried and dried so many. I decided to try making rolls with the red peppers cut in small pieces and using Asiago cheese in the dough. I mixed everything (flour, salt, yeast, o. oil, Asiago cheese, diced peppers, water) ENGLISH MUFFINS, ASIAGO/PEPPER ROLLSASIAGO CHEESE, RED PEPPER ROLLSGARDEN PEPPERSGARDEN PEPPERS  ENGLISH MUFFINSENGLISH MUFFINS  

 together and let it sit overnight. In the morning I did one stretch and fold and let it sit a half hour then divided it into 3 oz. pieces and made rolls using some tension but the dough was sticky and they were hard to shape. They were already puffy from the half hour rise and I didn't want to lose the bubbles. They rose 45 min. and baked up delicious. I baked them under cover using the rectangle roaster shown peeking out under my tray of rising rolls. Baked 15 min. under cover and 15 min. with cover off. My husband had his with Italian sausage and onions and I had one with sliced tomatoes and lettuce. Ok now....that took care of one pepper what about the rest??!!



By the way, a couple of members asked about the cow in the background in another photo. He's an antique cookie cutter from Pennsylvania. The other antique cookie cutter would be me if someone made a cookie cutter of me. Well, I exaggerate about some areas :)


Anyway it's good to be back baking. I've been checking in now and then and I've seen some BEAUTIFUL breads. Thanks browndog for getting me to finally try the muffins. Any new books to suggest?

ross's picture

last night i made use of some of a pumpernickel soaker/starter i had going last thursday that was intended for a large batch of what i call my light rye levain, among friends i call it a sourdough but it's not usually very sour, so it really is happier under the umbrella of i was saying, the intent was to turn the starter into about 20lbs of dough that would become six loaves of bread to be used for bartering with vendors at my local farmer's market, but that didn't happen and i was left with a lot of this pumpernickel stuff. so i turned most of it into a heavy rye, it's made from organic pumpernickel and organic whole rye with the inclusion of maybe 1/4 high-gluten flour for a little more structure/mellowness, i threw in some caraway too, just for kicks. the boule is below. the flavor is complex, the texture is chewy and moist, and the bread is dense the way it ought to be. oh, that crust is thick.


 heavier rye w/caraway 9/4/07

heavy round rye: heavier rye w/caraway 9/4/07


a few weeks ago i baked my light wheat levain, it's based on the same recipe as my light rye except i don't use pumpernickel and about 50% whole wheat flour, it's a much easier dough to work with, i'll trade gluten for pentosans anyday if i'm mixing by hand. these loaves had great spring and some of them produced great a grigné which is always welcome. the photo below is of the first two to come out of the oven (the loaves weigh at least 3lbs after cooled and about 18" long) and the two baguettes made from leftover dough (after scaling), i made six large loaves that night. i'd include a photo of the crumb but i don't know what it looked like...all the loaves went to the farmer's market uncut, sometime i'll post a crumby photo, but i know that it's fairly open and wonderfully moist and chewy. happy baking y'all!


wheat soldiers

wheat soldiers

sphealey's picture

==== "Remember always that a wise man walks with his head bowed; humble like the dust." -Master Kan==



Labor Day Bread MedleyLabor Day Bread Medley

I got a bit out of control during the Thursday evening through Monday period of the Labor Day weekend here in the States.

Front row:

  • Healey Modified Beranbaum-Hammelman Sourdough Rye (this is my weekly sandwich loaf)

Middle row (left to right):

  • Bread machine soft sandwich loaf based on Bob's Red Mill Potato Bread Mix with 75 g whole wheat and 75 g chopped sunflower seeds added; kneaded and baked in bread machine overnight using timer (nice way to wake up).
  • Hamburger buns (first 7 of 14) based on Bob's Red Mill Potato Bread Mix. Mixed, kneaded, and first rise in bread machine; turned and 2nd rise, scaled, shaped, proofed, and baked by hand.
  • Remnents of Somerset Cider Bread from _Dough: Simple Comtemporary Bread_ by Richard Bertinet. Ran out of rye flour and had to use some whole wheat. Very good toasted.

Back row (left to right):

  • Classic White Sourdough; recipe from King Arthur with their Vermont Sourdough starter package. No added yeast
  • Floydm Daily Bread. A little problem with the hydration factor here - the proofed loaf stuck to the peel like paste and was basically shoveled onto the stone. But the end result was tasty.

If you are seeking some quick positive feedback try the hamburger buns. They are very easy to make (by hand or with the machine) yet they never fail to generate oooohs of apprecation from barbeque guests. I use olive oil for a richer looking crust.

Table cloths from my wife's gigantic collection. My appreciation for the photographers who shoot bread cookbooks grows every time I try to capture images of my bread; getting the angles and perspective right is very difficult.


Dorothy's picture

Help!  I have had my starter in the refrigerator un-toughed for 2 weeks or less.  When I opened it up, it smelled just like lacquer thinner.  It also as some what solidified on top.  When I fed it last it was ovoer 80 in my kitchen.  Should I throw it out and start over?????  I don't want to kill anyone!   Thanks Dorothy

dolfs's picture

Today we're having a party and I figured (yesterday), I'd make some ciabatta. I never made it before and decided to make Reinhart's (BBA) recipe based on biga. I did scale it up a little to make slightly more. In the process of doing the calculations, I think I discovered some errors in the percentages and corrected them. I made the bread using the corrected recipe (I'll post on that seperately). For the final dough, I used buttermilk instead of water, and I did add about 70% of the optional olive oil.Reinhart's Ciabatta (Biga)

Reinhart's Ciabatta (Biga)

Ciabatta, excellent holes and crumb

Ciabatta, excellent holes and crumb

The dough came together as described, mixing in a KA, 4 minutes with paddle, and another 3 with the dough hook, adding just a little flour. While the rest of the baking proceeded as written, I noticed that my dough was actually rising a lot more than I expected. Now, I have to note that the weather is really warm right now (90F+) and my air-conditioning is set at 78F. I let it happen while I remembered some people had had issues with these recipes, so I looked up these old posts. Biggest problem people had was not a good open crumb, so I started to worry...

When I cut the dough in three pieces for placing in the couche it definitely collapsed some, but I decide to just let it rise again. It did. Then I baked, as described, and the result, as far as I am concerned, was just wonderful in shape, texture, crumb.

I will report in a separate post about some of the observations and my thoughts as to why this worked out so well. 


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