Toast variations: Yeasted Pumpkin Bread

Yeasted Pumpkin Bread

I spent a fair amount of time on Sunday googling a recipe for pumpkin bread made with yeast. I make a pumpkin quick bread all the time–quick breads are those that rise with the help of a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda. I had in mind a nice, fluffy bread scented gently with spices and kept moist and tasty by the pumpkin. I got something in between.

It is actually very hard to find recipes for pumpkin breads that rise with the help of yeast. I finally found one on the website of the Red Star yeast company. The bread is tasty, but extremely dense. I’m not sure if this is their fault or mine. Probably mine, as I didn’t use any bread flour (this has more protein and thus, when you knead it, builds a stronger support system for the bread as it rises, letting it get tall without collapsing) and instead used half all-purpose and half whole wheat. Because the bread contains eggs for richness, too, this becomes a very heavy loaf. It rises ok and I even got some oven spring, but it’s fairly dense, somewhere in between a quick pumpkin bread and a loaf of white sandwich bread (one you make yourself, of course!)

If I were to make this bread again, I’d probably pick up some bread flour. I’d also cut back on the spices. It’s just a little too clove-y for my taste. But overall it makes some interesting toast, slathered with butter and enjoyed with a hot cuppa joe.

Here’s a c&p list of ingredients:

Water 1 tablespoon
Pumpkin, canned 1 cup
Oil 3 tablespoons
Eggs 2
Ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon
Ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon
Ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons
Salt 1 1/2 teaspoons
Brown sugar 1/4 cup
Bread flour 3 cups
Active Dry Yeast 2 1/4 teaspoons

You want to mix up the yeast with that T of water, warmed, first, and let it sit a few minutes until frothy. Then add the rest of your wet ingredients, except eggs. Then add the dry. Start to mix, adding eggs in. Turn out on a floured surface and knead until relatively smooth and elastic, which might take more flour. Mine did.

More c&p directions:

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until doubled in size. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Roll or pat into a 14- x 7-inch rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll. Pinch edges and ends to seal. Place in greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise until doubled. Bake in preheated 375 degrees F oven 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from pan; cool.

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