I opened a can of pumpkin last week to make a pumpkin-brown butter sauce for pasta, which means I had about half a can remaining that needed to be used up. Luckily, Sam from Antics of a Cycling Cook recently posted a recipe for pumpkin bread that I knew I needed to try. What stood out about this recipe is that it's a yeasted pumpkin bread, not the typical quick bread that usually is very sweet. Since this recipe didn't have much sugar in it at all (mostly to feed the yeast), it allows the natural sweetness of the pumpkin to shine through.
My modifications to the original recipe were to add about 1/3 cup more warmed milk, as the original amount wasn't enough to hydrate the dough (I think it might be due to the weather). I also added one tablespoon of vital wheat gluten since it helps keep the bread fresher longer, I replaced 1 cup of the flour with high gluten fine whole wheat (which may also have had an effect on the liquid content), and I used freshly grated nutmeg.
After kneading for 3 minutes, I covered the dough with the bowl and allowed it to rest for 10 minutes. I've found that this (technically called an 'autolyse') helps the flour hydrate by absorbing the liquid and begins the gluten development, as well as drastically improving the consistency of the dough, meaning less flour is needed during the kneading time, andit helps me not to overwork the dough. I also let the dough rise twice.
When it was reading to bake, I slashed a square pattern on the top, sprinkled with cornmeal, placed the baking sheet in the oven and spritzed the inside with water twice during baking.
Spaghetti with garlic, zucchini, Roma tomatoes, pinto beans, basil, paprika, and olive oil.
The aroma wafting through the kitchen as the bread baked was heavenly. The pumpkin mixing with the nutmeg was lovely, and it made me wish for a mug of spiced apple cider. Then I snapped out of my revery by realizing it was still quite hot outside, and would be for a while still.
After a baking time of 50 minutes, the loaf emerged from the oven in a golden-brown glory, highlighted by an orange-gold color. Waiting for this to cool before slicing was torture, as I really wanted to taste and see if it was as good as it smelled.
Finally, I sliced and saw that it was good! The hue, the scent, the flavor, and the softness were all stellar. Accented by drizzles of honey made it even better. Toasted and spread with a bit of butter, it adds a nuttiness to the flavor. I bet this bread would be great as a panino with pepper bacon, smoked cheddar, and spinach, or made into a bread pudding or French toast. I am in love with this bread!
I am entering this to YeastSpotting, a weekly event hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast.