It is that time of the year, when leaves turn orange and red, pumpkins pop up in every recipe (including many where they don’t belong, but let’s not get into a sour mood).  I share with you today a sourdough bread to celebrate Fall. It does have a little canned pumpkin in the formula, but I promise you the taste is very mild, it just contributes moisture and it slightly changes the final texture of the crumb. We loved this bread and hope you’ll also like it if you make it.

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

475 g white bread flour
25 g whole wheat flour
120g starter at 100%
100 g canned pumpkin
340g water
10g salt

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer and using the dough hook, work the dough for 4 minutes at low speed. Adjust flour if necessary, it should still stick to the bottom of the bowl not cleaning it completely as the dough moves.

Remove from the bowl, knead briefly by hand and let it ferment for 3 and a half hours folding every 45 minutes. Shape as a round loaf, refrigerate overnight, seam side up.

Heat the oven to 450F, invert the dough on parchment paper, so that the smooth side is now up. Dust the surface with regular flour, lightly but uniformly. Score with a brand new razor blade, in concentric arcs from the center. Bake for 45 minutes in a Dutch oven, covered for 30 minutes, removing the lid for the final 15 min.  Let it cool completely before slicing.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I’ve been really in love with this method of starting the kneading in the KitchenAid and finishing with foldings. It gets a nice jump start on gluten formation, and it has the advantage of being very “clean”.  When you do the whole incorporation by hand, the two initial foldings can be pretty messy, the dough gets on the fingers, sticks to the sides of the bowl… it’s not too big a deal, but allowing the KitchenAid to do that initial work makes clean up so much easier. I know bread baking purists will turn their noses but… it works for me.

This bread was a loud, loud singer as it cooled down. And the crumb had the kind of structure we like. Not too open, not too tight.

As I mentioned, you cannot taste pumpkin, it is just a very mellow sourdough, with a creamy texture given by the pumpkin puree. If you like a more orange hint to the crumb, adding turmeric is a good option, but not too much, I’d say 1/2 tsp for this size loaf.

ONE YEAR AGO: Sourdough Four-Play

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THREE YEARS AGO: Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

FOUR YEARS AGO: Spicy Cotija and Black Olive Sourdough

FIVE YEARS AGO: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

SIX YEARS AGO: Sourdough Rye Bread with Flaxseeds and Oats

SEVEN YEARS AGO: PCR and a Dance in the Mind Field

EIGHT YEARS AGO: October 16: World Bread Day

NINE YEARS AGO: The US Listeria Outbreak 2011

TEN YEARS AGO: 36 Hour Sourdough Baguettes

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: October 16 is World Bread Day



Since all my requests to bring Spring back have been ignored, I resign myself to celebrate the season by baking a pumpkin loaf coated with a fantastic maple icing which found its way to a few of my fingers. First encounter was by accident. The other seven were intentional.  The recipe is from Sue’s site, The View from Great Island, a blog you must visit regularly. I’d like to make pretty much everything she shares, our taste in food is quite similar.  Although I must say she is a lot more daring than me, facing projects like this one that leave me in complete awe. Never in a gazillion years I could go for it. But, this pumpkin loaf? Doable and absolutely wonderful.  Make it. And don’t forget to lick your fingers…

Pumpkin Loaf with Maple Icing

(from The View from Great Island)

for the pumpkin bread:
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

for the maple glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4 tbsp maple syrup (more or less)
1/4 tsp maple extract (optional)

Set oven to 350F.

Spray a non-stick standard loaf pan with cooking spray and line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper with long ends to help remove the bread later.

Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and spices. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. Turn the batter into the pan and even out.

Bake until a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it, about 50 minutes. Let the loaf cool almost to room temperature before glazing.

To make the glaze, whisk together the sugar with enough maple syrup to make a thick, spreadable glaze. Keep whisking until all the little lumps are dissolved. Whisk in the extract, if using. Spread thickly onto the cooled bread.


to print the recipe, click here


Comments:  Guess what? I brought this loaf to our colleagues at work. I am sure you are not surprised. One of the most frequent compliments I heard was “OMG, that icing!”, which made me feel a lot better about the obsessive finger licking I went through while preparing this delicacy.  But please, don’t think it’s just about the icing, the loaf itself is wonderful, I guarantee that even pumpkin haters will fall in love with it.


Sue, thank you so much for such a great recipe, I know I’ll be making it again before pumpkin season is over because one of our graduate students said it was one of the best things I shared so far. She’s been around for 2 years! How’s THAT for a compliment?  


ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, October 2014

TWO YEARS AGO: Grilled Steelhead Trout

THREE YEARS AGO: Brown Butter Tomato Salad

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Spelt and Cornmeal Rolls

FIVE YEARS AGO: Roasted Potato and Olive Focaccia

SIX YEARS AGO: Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire


Baker Street strikes again!  For the most part, I want to make everything she blogs about, but my frantic life gets in the way.  One of the things that happens as you accumulate more experience in the kitchen, is a certain “feeling” for a recipe.  I usually spot a winner just by reading the ingredients, and this pumpkin espresso loaf, covered with crushed hazelnuts made me dream.  I knew we would love it.  It is quite simple to prepare, and it smells AMAZING (all caps required) as it bakes.  It is moist, not too sweet, the coffee flavor quite subtle, and the crumb topping gives that contrast of texture which is always a nice touch on this type of loaf.

(from Baker Street)

for the loaf:
¾ cup (150 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 cup (245 grams) canned pumpkin puree
½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
¼ cup (59 ml) milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt

for the topping:
½ cup hazelnut, chopped roughly
3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon espresso powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350F and generously grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Prepare the topping by combining all ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, espresso powder, spices, and salt. Reserve. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Gently fold in the flour mixture and spread the batter evenly into prepared pan.

Sprinkle the espresso topping evenly over the pumpkin batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.


to print the recipe, click here


This was SUCH a delicious bread, loaf, whatever you want to call it.  With a cup of cappuccino in the morning, it starts your day on a perfectly warm note. After the loaf was in the oven, I said to myself that some cardamon could be a good addition. Phil, on the other hand, thinks that mini-chocolate chips would take this loaf to unprecedented levels of decadence.  Interestingly enough, that is exactly the variation recommended over at Baker Street.  Keep that in mind if you make this loaf.  And I hope you do!  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Caramelized Carrot Soup

TWO YEARS AGO: Miso-Grilled Shrimp

THREE YEARS AGO: A Special Holiday Fruitcake