Friday, February 21, 2014

Savory No-knead Pumpkin Bread

Savory, yet with hints of pumpkin pie, this bread will quickly find its way to your regular baking repertoire. It is so incredibly easy to bake, family members won't believe how you made it so quickly. However, advanced planning is needed due to the long rising processes. I typically start this bread the night before because it does take so long to rise. 

This recipe was in the Fall 2013 Heirloom Gardener Magazine. I was in the midst of harvesting my fall pumpkin crop that month and was obsessed with finding fun pumpkin recipes, and this caught my eye! The great thing about this recipe is you can interchange different ingredients. The first time I made this bread, I used white flour. Today, I used whole wheat flour. Don't be afraid to experiment, just make sure the ratios stay the same.

The BEST cinnamon to use for this recipe is King Arthur's Vietnamese Cinnamon. Seriously, you need to get this spice. You will never go back to the other stuff.

Pumpkin Bread
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour (white or whole wheat work well)
  • 3/4 cup spelt or kamut flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup puréed pumpkin or butternut squash (I have yet to try this recipe with butternut squash)
  • 3/4 cup cool water
  • Pumpkin seeds

Reserve pumpkin seeds for later use.
Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Take water and puréed squash, mix together in separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula. Stir until thoroughly mixed. (The dough will not be like any other bread you've made-this will be much wetter and will not form a ball.)
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature, out of direct sunlight for 12 to 18 hours. (I usually do this step the night before I intend to bake it.)
Before the 12 hour rising.
After 12 to 18 hours have passed, your dough should be dotted with bubbles and more than doubled in size. Dust a wooden cutting board with bread flour and, using plastic dough scrapers, scrape dough loose from sides of the bowl and turn out onto board in one piece. Dough will be loose and sticky, but do NOT add more flour. Dust top lightly with flour and cover with a clean lint-free cotton or linen tea towel. Let dough rise for another 1 to 2 hours.
After the 12 hour rising.
Getting the dough ready for the second rising.
About 30 min before the second rise is complete, place a cast-iron Dutch oven (a 3 to 4 quart size is best, but larger size can be used) on a rack positioned in the lower third of oven. Heat oven to 450°F.
Once the oven has reached 450°F, remove the pot using heavy duty potholders (be very careful, the pot and oven will be extremely not). Sprinkle coarse meal at the bottom of the pot. Or, we put aluminum foil in our pot. 
The dough in the Dutch oven before I put the pumpkin seeds on it.
Uncover the dough and, using two plastic dough scrapers, shape dough by folding over onto itself a few times. With scrapers, lift dough carefully and let it fall into preheated pot. Dust the top of the dough with pumpkin seeds. Cover the pot with lid and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid from the pot and continue baking for additional 15 min, or until loaf is nicely browned.
After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid.
Remove the pot for oven. With a sturdy spatula, lift loaf from the pot and transfer to a cooling rack. Do NOT slice bread for a minimum of 1 hour--this cooling time completes the process and shouldn't be overlooked! 
This bread can be served with butter or cream cheese. I also love putting homemade apple cinnamon butter on it, so delicious!!
Please share your experience making this bread.  
Nancy Jane

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