Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Once the nights begin to cool off and the leaves start to yellow and fall, it’s amazing how quickly I begin to crave hearty fall foods and flavors like chili….roasted veggies….

….and squash!  All forms of squash really with very few exceptions.  I feel indulgent when I cube butternut squash, saute it  and add it to salads in place of croutons.  I love the creaminess that turban squash adds to stews and chili.  And the presentation of an acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and veggies and then baked in its own shell always puts a smile on my face– it’s so easy and yet so elegant!

But, the one squash that first comes to mind each fall is pumpkin!  Of course it’s great for carving, or for adding to your fall decorations, but in my opinion, it’s still shines the most when added to food.

I know what you’re thinking, “Woo hoo, it’s pumpkin pie time!”  But, in all honesty, that’s my least favorite pumpkin dish.  Instead, I usually opt for adding it to savory dishes. It was this hunt for savory pumpkin recipe options that led me to this delicious yeast pumpkin bread.  This recipe isn’t your typical sugar-laden, dense, dessert-style pumpkin bread.

It’s a yeast bread that makes great dinner rolls or sandwich bread (I can imagine it would be wonderful with turkey and cranberry sauce the day after Thanksgiving for all you meat-eaters). The pumpkin flavor is prominent, but not overwhelming and although the bread is hearty, it has a slight sweetness with a hint of cinnamon and ginger that balance all the flavors nicely.  It’s also relatively easy to throw together quickly– especially if you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer on hand.

Yeast Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 packages active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon warm milk
  • 1 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cups puréed pumpkin, either fresh or canned
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (approximately) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (simply pulse rolled oats in your food processor for 15-20 seconds to make your own oat flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Mix yeast in a bowl with the warm water and a teaspoon of the honey to activate the yeast.

2. Meanwhile, measure remaining wet ingredients.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine oat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, salt, ginger and cinnamon.

3. Turn mixer on low to fully combine all dry ingredients.

4. Add yeast mixture and wet ingredients to mixer and continue to mix on low or medium low, being sure to wipe down the sides of the bowl periodically.

5.  As the dough comes together, it will start to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

6. After the dough has formed a cohesive ball, continue mixing on low to knead the dough activating the gluten.

6. This is what your dough will look like after the kneading stage.

7. Remove dough from the mixer and form into one or two loaves on a cookie sheet (I prefer to use my Silpat pan liner over lightly greasing the pan).

8. Cover dough with a damp town and put pan in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes – 1 hour.

9. Lightly sprinkle tops of loaves with flour, rolled oats or seeds of your choice.

10. Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes, or until top of loaf is beginning to brown slightly. You can also test for “doneness” by inserting an instant read thermometer into the center of the loaf– the bread is done when the internal temperature reaches 190°.

11. Allow Bread to cool on a  wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

12. Pumpkin yeast bread is great for toasting in the morning, making sandwiches with at lunch, and as a side with hearty winter soups like this butternut squash chili!

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This recipe was derived from King Arthur Flour’s Pumpkin Yeast Bread recipe.

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