Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Yeast Bread

'Tis definitely the season for baked goods that celebrate pumpkin.  With images of pumpkin pie, loaves of spicy pumpkin cake and pumpkin cheesecake dancing across our thoughts, the anticipation of enjoying the holidays is upon us!  As you gather your own thoughts to plan your special treats for the holidays, consider making this very delicious yeast bread to grace your brunch or breakfast table.

This is a recipe for Pumpkin Yeast Bread from the bakers at King Arthur flour.  Although I love working with yeast, I have to confess this is the first recipe I've tried from them.  I cut the recipe in half to make one loaf and I decided to add a cinnamon swirl for more flavor and visual interest.  The result was a smashing success and I do highly recommend it to you for something fun and different.

The dough is soft and supple and very easy to work with.  It bakes off into a flavorful bread with a nice soft and chewy open crumb.  the cinnamon swirl adds just the right amount of sweetness and spice.  In fact, you may want to consider making two loaves.  I think it would make a great slice of buttered toast or maybe as the star in a batch of French Toast.  An extra loaf would also make a lovely gift for a friend or neighbor in need of a thoughtful gesture.  So double the ingredients or follow the King Arthur link below for the full recipe.  You'll have a very easy and festive seasonal bread and your kitchen will smell fantastic.  OK, holiday revelers, it's on!

Bench notes:
- Both the water and the milk for the bread dough should feel warm (but not hot) to the touch.
- I wound up using 3 cups + 2 tablespoons of flour in the mixing of the dough and another 1 tablespoon for the kneading.  You'll also need just a light dusting of flour on the work surface when you roll it out.
- I didn't really detect the ginger or the cardamom in the finished bread, so if you don't have those spices on hand, don't let that stop you from pressing ahead.
- After you roll out the dough to the desired dimensions, brush the surface with egg wash before dusting with the cinnamon sugar.  This helps to prevent separation and gaps in the swirl as it bakes.
- Since I had extra egg wash, I brushed it on the top of the bread just before putting it in the oven.  I also loosely tented a piece of foil over the bread after 15 minutes of baking.  My bread baked in 25 minutes.
- A serrated knife works best for slicing bread.
- This bread will keep in an airtight container for about 3 days and still taste fresh and moist.
- To use up any extra bits of pumpkin puree, try Pumpkin Pecan Madeleines.
- One of my favorite pumpkin desserts for this time of year is Pumpkin Pecan Pie Squares, the best of both worlds.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Yeast Bread
adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes 1 loaf

1/4 C warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/3 C warm milk
1 egg
3/4 C pumpkin
1 T canola oil
1/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
1 t salt  [I used 1 1/8 t]
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cardamom
3 C - 3 1/4 C flour

1/4 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

Place the warm water in a large bowl and sprinkle in the yeast.  Stir and let sit for 2 - 3 minutes to soften.  Add the warm milk, egg, pumpkin, oil, brown sugar, salt, ginger and cardamom and stir together until blended.  Add 2 3/4 cups flour and combine thoroughly.  Keep adding flour 2 tablespoons at a time, kneading until you have a smooth and elastic dough.

Oil the bottom and sides of a clean bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn it over once to coat the entire ball of dough with oil.  Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.  Combine the egg and water for the egg wash and set aside.

When the dough has risen, press it down gently to release the gases.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Roll it out to a 17" x 10" rectangle.  Brush the surface of the dough with egg wash (you'll only use a small portion.)  Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar evenly over the surface.  Starting with the short end, roll the dough into a log.  Pinch and press the ends and the seam to seal.  Gently lift the log, seam side down, and place in the loaf pan, tucking the ends underneath.  Set in a warm place for the second rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash or oil if you want a shiny crust (check on it and tent the bread loosely with foil after 15 minutes, if needed).  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven and gently loosen it from the pan with a small spatula or a table knife.  Turn the bread out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.


Laura Dembowski said...

Homemade bread is the best! The addition of pumpkin and cinnamon sounds wonderful!

pastry studio said...

Howdy, Laura! I was kind of surprised on how well this came out. I'd never used pumpkin in a yeast bread before but I'm glad I found out!

beth said...

Pumpkin french toast sounds amazing. How about pumpkin cinnamon swirl bread pudding?

pastry studio said...

beth, that's also a really great idea!

Brenda (Los Gatos Foodie) said...

I made it! Really good. :-)

pastry studio said...

Brenda, so glad you enjoyed it! It's so easy and delicious and it's perfect for the season.