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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pumpkin Fest Part 1: Pumpkin Yeast Bread

I got this recipe from the King Arthur Flour website.  (Bakers - if you haven't checked out the recipes there yet, I highly recommend it.  There are a lot of great recipes as well as the option to convert amounts into ounces or grams.  Being a chemist, I like to bake by weight rather than volume ;-))  It was easy to make and the dough rose quickly.  I just used my stand mixer to knead it and then gave it a few token kneads by hand at the end.  For the second rise I put it out in the garage (45F?) overnight and baked it first thing in the morning.  It rose a bit too much so the bread may've been a little bit less tender as a result.  It was really good.  Next time I'll be more careful with the rise, and may try making some of it into dinner rolls as they suggest.
The flavor of the spices and pumpkin came through nicely.  It did not taste very sweet.  I like the combination of sweet and savory, so I wouldn't hesitate to use this in a sandwich.  It also made good French toast this morning, and was a tasty side for my dinner of pork roast, beets and spinach.  I think it would be absolutely delicious as dinner rolls with a chicken or turkey dinner.

1/2 cup warm water
2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups puréed pumpkin, either fresh or canned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 1/2 cups (approximately) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, 4 cups flour, brown sugar, salt, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Gradually add remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into loaves and place in well-greased 10 x 5-inch pans or, shape half into a loaf, and other half into 12 large dinner rolls. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Loaves bake about 30 minutes, rolls about 20. Check the internal temperature of each with an instant-read thermometer; a reading of 190°F means bread or rolls are done.

Immediately remove bread or rolls from pans and cool on a wire rack to prevent crust from becoming soggy. For a shiny crust, brush tops of bread or rolls lightly with vegetable oil. Makes 2 large loaves, or 1 large loaf and 12 dinner rolls.

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