The Fresh Loaf

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Pumpkin Raisin YW/SD

HeiHei29er's picture

Pumpkin Raisin YW/SD

My wife made pumpkin bars this weekend, and she told me to use up the rest of the puree.  So...  New bread experiment time!

I used the recipe from wassisname as a starting point:

I didn't have any pumpkin seeds handy, so I went with raisins instead and added a little cinnamon and nutmeg.  Recipe below is for two loaves.

My raisin YW using date syrup as part of the refresh has been working very well and didn't disappoint this time either.  I have been combining YW and SD in the levain prep quite a bit this summer with good results.  The YW and mother culture are straight from the refrigerator.  I am seeing a lot of carbon dioxide evolution when I mix the acidic starter with the YW.  The drop in pH causes the dissolved gas to come out of solution.  You can see the layer of carbon dioxide foam just after mixing.  The levain was allowed to ferment at 73-74 deg F for 11 hours.  It over doubled in volume.


Raisins were put in the puree and refrigerated overnight to re-hydrate.  Cinnamon and nutmeg added to that as well.  Combined puree with final mix water in the morning and then combined that with the levain before adding in flour.  Dough came together nicely and was not sticky.  5 sets of bowl kneading after autolyse to develop gluten (roughly 60 mins to complete from end of autolyse) and then into the proofing box at 76 deg F.

Dough increased roughly 75% in bulk and then divide and pre-shape.  Shaped in a boule after bench rest and then back into proofing box at 76 deg F.  Moved to Cold Retard after 75 mins because I had to make lunch.  In cold retard for approximately 3 hours.  Pre-heat oven to 450 deg F for 1 hour.  Misted both doughs with water and scored delicately to try and get that "pumpkin" look after oven spring (this is part of where I went wrong but more on that in a minute).  Doughs into my Granite Ware roaster and a few more squirts of water to help with moisture.  450 deg with lid on and 425 deg with if off.  Final internal temp at 205 deg and nothing sticking to probe when removed. 

Not frisbees but didn't really have any spring/bloom, which surprised me based on how well bulk and final proof went.


When I removed the doughs from cold retard, I noticed both had large openings in the seam at the center of the dough.  Neither were there when I put them in the banneton.  I checked because I've had a few boules do that too me lately when I tried to proof them seam side down for a natural bloom.  I wasn't too worried about it because both of these would be seam side down for the bake.  However, when I sliced the loaf, I think I see why that decision, combined with the light scoring, killed any oven spring.  It looks like all my gases went down instead of trying to go up through the scoring.  Lesson learned!  I do need to figure out what I'm doing wrong with my boule shaping though...  Didn't get pictures of the second loaf as I gave it to a friend, but it had the same hole in the center after final proof and the same profile and lack of spring after baking.


Flavor and texture on the bread were very nice.  Loaf was quite heavy, and it probably could have baked another 5-10 minutes.  Toasted it with some butter and raspberry jam.  Good stuff!




Abe's picture

That crumb looks really lovely. Shame you never had pumpkin seeds. Love pumpkin seeds in a bread especially when they're toasted. 

Yeast Water and Sourdough with pumpkin, spices and raisins... sounds delicious. 

HeiHei29er's picture

Thank you Abe and agree on the pumpkin seeds.  I ran out about two weeks ago and haven't made it back to the Co-Op for a refill.  Was kicking myself for that.  It's on the list for this week!

Benito's picture

Looks like a tasty bread Troy.  I wonder if perhaps there was a bit too much flour on the counter when you were shaping?  That could have caused what you saw with the center seam not closing well and opening upon baking.  If you have a lot of flour on the counter, at the end of shaping you could move your dough to an unfloured spot to do the final tensioning that might created a better seam on the bottom of the boule.


HeiHei29er's picture

Thank you Benny, and I'll look at how much flour I'm using on the next one.  It has to be something subtle.  I usually do ovals, but I have made boules a number of times without the issue. Now, it's popped up 3x in the last 5 or 6 that I've made.  Time to watch some videos and go back to the basics.  :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Perfect timing as everyone seems to be looking for pumpkin bread recipes and raisins are a great sub for p-seeds any day of the week!  (I also like chili peppers or pimento, coriander and black pepper sometimes.)  

Do you think the cinn. & nutmeg had something to do with the fizzle of oven spring?  Maybe the spices should get layered in with lamination.  A large square rolled out, in thirds folded over (busines letter fold) and then again in thirds tucking the corners under or pinching them together and rounding.  Being careful not to trap air between the layers. Docking may help release large gas pockets before chilling.


HeiHei29er's picture

I had to come up with something quick before my wife got rid of the rest of the can of purée.  😉. The peppers with the pumpkin sounds intriguing!  I’m a big pepper fan, but can’t quite wrap my head around how that would taste. 🤣

Possibly on the spices in the initial mix. It’s the first time I’ve used something like that, so would have to defer to others.  I’m still leaning towards the hole because the crumb pattern certainly looks like I had a bunch of gas going in that direction.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Could bubbles be moving out from the bottom?  Here is a test.  Which way are the bubbles moving in this picture? Make it simple down or up?

Get a bottom pick next time and a shot of the crevass before flipping.  If resting in the fridge with the bottom side up, what is happening with the surface as it stands? Is it covered? Any condensed water?  Drying? Do you think the round-the-bowl folding might be making a void or tunnel?  How are the halves pushed together on the cut?  Just giving ideas here....

HeiHei29er's picture

In that picture, I guess I would say neither direction.  Appears to be stable.  When I say flowing down, this is what I'm seeing.  Although, my interpretation might be WAY off.  :-)

I see general flow from the left and right migrating towards the hole in the bottom (arrows) and a region of coalescence between them where the flows cancel each other out and form an area of stagnation or stability (circle).  Guess I'm not sure if that's gas flow an or effect from shaping.

After watching a few videos, I think it might be that I'm not getting enough overlap with the initial folds when forming the boule.  Then, when putting surface tension in the boule, instead of turning 90 degrees and pulling towards me, I was turning and pulling at the same time using my bench scraper.  Wondering if that is just "twisting" the bottom in a circle around the seam and creating an internal void instead of "pulling" the sides across the seam to help seal it???  The next time I shape a boule, I'm going to do a better job with the overlap be more diligent about rotating and then pulling instead of doing that as a single motion.

As far as the bottom during final proof...  The first time this happened I proofed seam down as I wanted to get the natural score from the seam opening.  The dough looked normal after final proof, but when I inverted it out of the banneton, the seam immediately split open and the dough sagged.  For these two loaves, if I remember correctly, there was a small hole when initially placed in the banneton that opened up more as the dough rose.

Appreciate the ideas!

JonJ's picture

Hi Troy,

Interesting loaf, could almost imagine the taste of the raisins and bread when reading it! Great ideas in the making of it too and it has made me think about my process too and wanting to incorporate some of your methods.

Trying to understand the times. So 4 hours bulk with a 44% inoculation, do you think the YW makes it faster or not? It kind of sounds correct for levain without YW too. I also want to use my YW now that I have it whenever I get a chance, but these times are making me wonder if adding it made things any faster or better.

Also find your description of the hole at the base intriguing.


HeiHei29er's picture

Thank you Jon!  I appreciate the kind words.

To clarify, the preferment was 20% with the levain.  44% was the canned pumpkin purée.

Regarding time, I don’t know that the YW makes fermentation go any faster.  It might make the levain ripen a little faster if the seed amount was constant.  I think the benefit of the YW is biological diversity, which should give a more complex flavor.  One experiment I want to do is a side-by-side comparison of straight SD and SD/YW.  I’ve thought about doing that a few times but have never followed through.  Maybe that will be my next bake.  😁