Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

With all the pumpkin recipes I tried this year (of course, trying to make up for years past with zero), I decided against my better judgement to find a pumpkin bread recipe. I thought my husband would be so happy and even make his sandwiches each day for lunch on them. Nope, didn't happen. We let this loaf sit and sit all week while I procrastinated making apple butter. Unfortunately I only had a few slices, but they were a few slices of heaven. They were good, but I wouldn't make a sandwich with them. I would probably eat them as toast for breakfast slathered with apple butter. Mmm, sounds amazing right?! Well I'll have to give the update on that when I finally do make the apple butter; I'll be sure to make another batch of this bread.

I also halved the recipe to make only one loaf of bread and it came out perfectly. I did slice them a little too thick for my taste so I would suggest slicing about as thick as normal loaves of bread you find at the grocery store. Plus, unless you have a toaster oven, these thicker pieces may not fit well in the toaster. ;) Enjoy!

Pumpkin Yeast Bread
Adapted from: Annie’s Eats, originally King Arthur Flour
Yields: 2 large loaves of bread

½ cup warm water
1½ Tbsp instant yeast
2/3 cup warm milk
2 large eggs
1½ cups pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp vegetable (or canola) oil
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon*
¼ tsp ground ginger*
¼ tsp ground nutmeg*
dash of ground cloves
6½ cups bread flour (approximately)

* Substitute all these spices if you already have Pumpkin Pie Spice in your pantry, using 1 Tbsp.

In a bowl of a stand mixer (paddle attachment), mix the water and yeast briefly. Add the milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, brown sugar, salt and spices. Mix briefly to combine. Add 4 cups of the bread flour to the mixture and mix until dough becomes sticky. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Continue to add the remaining flour on low speed a little at a time. You should have a dough that is not sticky anymore and smooth. Transfer dough to a well-oiled mixing bowl and turn it over to coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise at room temperature until it is doubled, about 1 hour.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide in half. Shape each piece into a rectangle 9-inches long and 1-inch thick. With the rectangle horizontal, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder left to right. Pinch the seams closed well. Place each dough roll into a well-oiled loaf pan (9x5-inch). Press the loaves down so that they just touch each side of the pan. Cover with a towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake the loaves for about 30 minutes. You can also use an instant-read thermometer (which I don’t have .. yet) until it reads 190° F. The bread should be a little darkened. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Slice thinly (like the thickness of a loaf of bread).

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