The Fresh Loaf

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Pumpkin Seed Bread

BobS's picture

Pumpkin Seed Bread

It took a few days to recover from bread overload I got at the Boston TFL meetup (thanks so much for organizing, Varda). Time to try something new.  Pumpkin seed bread from the Seven Stars Bakery in Providence, RI as described by MC Farine has been on the list for a while.

I made a few changes. The original formula combines two levains to form the levain for the bread. I built a levain with the same percentages starting with Fred, my 100% hydration mostly white starter. The amount of pumpkin puree is pretty small: maybe 1/4 of a can. Instead of opening a can of pumpkin puree I pureed a bit of fresh acorn squash.  The squash seems mostly for color in this bread, and I suspect that some of those cans of pumpkin puree have squash in them anyway.

It seemed to work.


The rye makes a nice undertone under the nutty flavor of the roasted pumpkin seeds. There is more carmelization that I would have expected, perhaps due to the sugar in the puree. I like the orange hue.


  • 14 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter
  • 29 g whole-wheat flour
  • 18 g rye flour
  • 35 g water

Final Dough

  • 500 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 75 g whole wheat flour
  • 30 g coarse cornmeal (polenta)
  • 475 g water
  • all of the levain
  • 120 g pumpkin puree  fresh or canned (squash also works)
  • 75 g sesame seeds, toasted
  • 120 g pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 12 g salt


Mix the starter with the water and flours; ferment 12-14 hours

Final Dough

  1. Mix the flours and the polenta and the water to a shaggy mass. Cover and let autolyse for about 30 minutes, at warm room temperature
  2. Add the levain, the pumpkin , and the salt.
  3. Adjust hydration if necessary
  4. Mix in the seeds until well distributed in the dough
  5. Proof @ 76° F, giving  it three folds 30 minutes apart and let it rise afterwards for about 3 hours.
  6. Shape, then retard overnight in fridge.


  1. 460° F with steam for 20 minutes, then without steam for an additional 20 minutes.
  2. Turn the oven off and let the loaves rest inside with oven door ajar for another 7 minutes

Yield: about 1500 g (two loaves)


Submitted to YeastSpotting


Isand66's picture

Beautiful looking bread.

How much do you taste the pumpkin?



BobS's picture

Not much, if at all. Mostly I taste pumpkin seeds with rye underneath it. It's pretty good.

hansjoakim's picture

These look terrific, Bob! Great shaping and wonderful crust colour and bloom. I like the orange hue too!

It looks like a great formula as well; a small amount of levain to initiate fermentation and a healthy bulk ferment.

hungryscholar's picture

Wonderful looking bread! Even though I'm not a big fan of squash by itself, I love what it can bring to the party as part of a recipe like this. And I think roasted pumpkin seeds are the best part of having to clean them out to make Jack O'Lanterns. I love the inclusion of corn in here as well. Maybe I'll sub rye for the WW in the final dough, but then I can rarely manage to leave a recipe well enough alone.

varda's picture

Bob,   The color looks terrific.   And you got your 1 inch slash rises again (what are these really called?)    I am still working on that.  Make sure to check out the link to the Minuteman article I added to the meet-up report - they have a great picture of you there.  -Varda 

BobS's picture

Thanks Varda.  The 'ears' are called 'gringe'. I'm told that means 'grin' in French, but the online translators don't agree. I get them pretty consistently, with an occasional failure on boules and bâtards.  Baguettes are another story altogether.

Slashing a loaf that has been retarded, and is still cold and firm, is easier. You might want to try that.

varda's picture

The thingamabob is an ear.    A grigne (French word) is the overall bloom of the loaf.   Gringe is something nasty.   And no such word in french. 

BobS's picture

Here's a definition:

I found it on the Internet so it must be true.

Isand66's picture

I must be blind as I can't find the link you said you posted.

Can you tell me what it is?


varda's picture

on our meet-up.   Link to local paper article.    It is not a bad article.   Of course he misquotes me but not too badly.

dabrownman's picture

That is some kind of smiley faces you have on that bread!  Well done.  Your Pumpkin bread looks just perfect in every way.  Are you sure your tasting rye in this bread that only has 18 g in it?  I've got more rye than that left on the counter after make white bread!  After years of smoking my taste buds aren't what they should be either :-)

Happy baking Bob!

BobS's picture

Wouldn't be the first time. 

The levain had a pronounced rye smell. Why not make it and see?

Floydm's picture

Very very nice, Bob!


Mirko's picture

I have very similar formula from Ciril Hitz (almost same), only he use two levain (rye and white).

Is my favorite Bread.


BobS's picture

Cyril teaches in Providence, which is where Seven Stars Bakery is located. So that's not a surprise.

SylviaH's picture

What a lovely and tasty looking crumb.


rayel's picture

Lovely crust, crumb, color, Bob. The flavors have to be awesome as well.


Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Nice shaping on those Bob.  anything with pumpkin seeds in it is ok with me.

Great job!


Mebake's picture

Wow, those are beauties Bob!

Scoring is excellent... and so is the crumb texture.

Brotfan's picture

Great looking breads. They'll go right onto my "To-Bake"-List.

No need to soak the pumpkin seed, I guess.


BobS's picture

The formula from MC Farine did not mention soaking the seeds, so I didn't bother. Seemed to work. You might get a hit more pumpkin seed flavor from soaking, but there's plenty already.

Next time I make this I think I'll reduce the amount of sesame though. 


Are you going to write up your Vollkonnbrot?

lacoet's picture

Hi Bob,

Your bread looks yummy and beautiful, I’m getting ready to make it tomorrow. I’m just puzzled by the yield. They must be small loaves right?

I’ve been doing sourdough for a few years and most of the time my “go to” rec is Pain de Campagne from Ken Forkish’s Water,Flour,Salt,Yeast book. It yields to good size loaves but the total flour weight is 1000 g compared to this rec which is around 600 g.

I guess I’ll know the answer tomorrow 😊

thanks for sharing it.