It's October, almost November, but from the glorious sunshine and balmy temperatures you wouldn't think it is.
Only waking up when it's still dark, and having dinner in the kitchen instead of the porch are reminders of the upcoming winter.
Pumpkins are everywhere. The pumpkin dish I grew up up with, and loved, were my Pomeranian grandmother's wonderful pickled sweet and sour pumpkins.
Every year she bought one of those giant pumpkins, and, during an afternoon of hard labor, cut it down, cooked it with sugar, vinegar and spices, and filled a long line of glasses with golden pumpkin chunks embedded in aromatic syrup.
Every family member received his or her share, to be served with roasts and rice dishes.
|My Omi was a great cook (with my son Per, age 3)|
After "striking gold" with Dan Lepard's wonderful Pumpkin Whey Bread, I got back to one of my seasonal German breads, Kürbisbrot ("Pumpkin Bread").
It doesn't have such an interesting ingredient like whey (also hard to come by, if you are not in the yogurt making business.) But the German cousin is made with spelt, and therefore a little heartier.
The autumnal pattern is made with a large, leaf-shaped cookie cutter, pressed into the dough before it rises.
Both pumpkin breads share the same golden crumb, and nutty crunchiness from the toasted pumpkin seeds - and both taste equally good!
|Golden crumb and nutty crunch makes pumpkin breads so good|
SPELT PUMPKIN BREAD
|Pumpkin puree and seeds|
4 g instant yeast
500 g whole spelt flour (or 1/2 spelt + 1/2 bread flour)
11 g salt
3 g dark brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
28 g/2 tbsp. butter, melted
212 g pumpkin puree (1/2 can)
60 g pumpkin seeds, toasted
milk, for brushing (optional)
Stir yeast into the warm water, to dissolve.
Add all dough ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir together for 1 - 2 minutes at low speed (or with large wooden spoon), until all flour is hydrated. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
Knead dough for 2 minutes at medium-low speed (or by hand), adjusting with more water as needed, (dough should be smoother but still sticky.) Continue kneading for another 4 minutes. Dough should be still slightly sticky.
Transfer dough to lightly oiled or wet work surface. With wet or oiled hands, pat and stretch dough into a rough square. Fold it from top and bottom in thirds, like a business letter. Repeat with sides left and right.
Pick dough ball up, tucking sides under, and place it, seam side down, in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Repeat this stretch and fold 3 times. After the last fold, place dough in oiled container with lid, and refrigerate overnight.
|The pumpkin dough has a beautiful golden color|
Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using.
Preheat oven to 450ºF/230ºC, including a steam pan.
Shape bread into a (not too tight) ball and place it, seam side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush it with milk, and using a large leaf shaped cookie cutter, press down deeply to score. Mist loaf with spray oil and cover with plastic wrap (or clean kitchen towel).
|Use a large leaf shaped cookie cutter for the scoring|
Let bread ferment at room temperature for 45 - 60 minutes, until it has grown to 1 1/2 times its original size, and dough doesn't spring back when gently poked with a finger.
Place bread in oven, pour a cup of boiling water into steam pan, reduce heat to 400ºF/200ºC, and bake bread for 20 minutes. Remove steam pan, rotate loaf 180 degrees, and continue baking for another 15 - 20 minutes, until the bread is golden brown, and registers at least 195ºF/90ºC on an instant-read thermometer.
Cool bread on a wire rack.
|Lighter pumpkin breads with half spelt and half bread flour.|
Completely updated and re-written post (original was posted 10/2010)
Submitted to Panissimo: Bread & Companatico
Indovina chi viene a cena
This month's Panissimo is hosted by Menta e Rosmarino