Sourdough Ginger Pumpkin Bread

I cannot believe that there are only 2 full months left of 2022, and yet, here we are, at the end of October. Like this month, the year absolutely flew by.

As busy as it’s been, I’m grateful that this year, I was intentional about setting time aside for myself to continue to cook, bake and blog–even during the times that it felt like I was ‘shirking’ off from my day-job. If I hadn’t, it’s safe to say I wouldn’t have gained some new skills in the cooking/baking department that have become pretty important to my eating habits now.

Learning/practicing how to bake sourdough bread was one of the things I set aside personal time for. It’s one of the better decisions I’ve made for my ongoing baking education, not least because there are so many different uses for sourdough besides just ‘standard’ bakers loaves. I’ve already shared several different uses I’ve found for it before in past posts (see here, here, here, and here), and today I’m excited to share the latest one I’ve tried out.

I’ve wanted to try making pumpkin shaped bread for a really long time, but I’d always chickened out because the ‘shaping’ part of it intimidated me. But seeing as I’m in a season of being intentional in trying/doing things that normally would’ve intimidated me, I decided to make pumpkin shaped bread the next thing I was going to tackle. I’m very pleased to be able to report back that I think it turned out pretty well.

The ‘labor’ involved in making pumpkin bread really isn’t as involved/complicated as it might look. What it comes down to, is tying various strings of kitchen twine around/across a ball of bread dough and allowing it to rise/bake with the string still in place so as to preserve the pumpkin ‘shape’.

I’m also happy to report that this bread tastes as good as it looks. The spices from both the pumpkin pie spice and ginger really complement each other nicely, and I strongly recommend that you toast the bread when eating, which both enhances the flavor and provides a delicious texture on the outside to complement the moisture of the bread on the inside.

Happy Halloween !

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Sourdough Ginger Pumpkin Bread

Recipe Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (227 grams) pureed pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) Sourdough Starter, either ripe (fed) or discard
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups (360 grams) Bread Flour* (You may not need to use it all)
  • 1/4 cup (46 grams) mini diced ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick, optional (for decoration)
  • Kitchen twine, for shaping

Directions

In a small container, pour the 1/4 cup of warm water. Sprinkle the active dry yeast on top, then sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of white sugar. Allow to sit for ten minutes, until proofed and frothy.

In a medium size bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, the salt, the 1/4 cup white sugar and the pumpkin pie spice. Stir together with a fork.

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with bread hook attachments, add the activated yeast, the pumpkin puree, the sourdough starter, the egg and the melted butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine. (Using either a handheld mixer with the dough hook attachments, or the standing mixer). If need be, add the extra 1 cup of flour.

Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes until it becomes smooth and bouncy.

Grease the inside of the bowl, place the dough inside, and allow to rise for 1-1/2 hours, until puffy,.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Cut 4 20″ pieces of kitchen twine, stack them together, and tie a granny knot in the middle. Dip all but the top 2″ of the strings in oil. Place on top of parchment paper. Lay the end of the strings over the sheet pan’s edge, spacing evenly all around.

Deflate the risen dough and shape it into a ball. Place the dough ion top of the strings, seam side down. Bring the strings together at the top. Knot or clip them together loosely, leaving about 3/4″ of slack between the strings and the dough (so as to allow room for the dough to rise).

Cover and let rise for 60-90 minutes, until the dough holds its indentation when lightly pressed with your finger.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Use a straight lame to 1/2″ deep lines from the bottom of the dough to the top in ‘leaf’ patterns, repeating all the way around.

Bake the bread for 50-55 minutes, tenting the top with foil after 35 minutes. (Bread is done when a digital thermometer inserted into its center reads 190 degrees F) Remove the bread from oven and cool it on a wire rack.

Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the kitchen twine, remove them from the loaf, then stick the cinnamon stick into the top as a ‘stem’.

Sharing at Fiesta Friday #456.

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