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Pumpkin raisin bread

November 3, 2013


A bread to make when you have extra pumpkin puree from your autumn baking, this yeasted loaf is lightly sweet and flavored with a small dose of cinnamon. Even though the pumpkin is mild in flavor,  it gives a rich softness and golden color to the crumb.   It would go nice with perhaps your favorite jam, fruit preserve or “Cajeta butter”.  It’s really just a riff off of “Pumpkin monkey bread w/piloncillo sauce” and with a little  adjustment in the ingredients,  it can also turn into a sandwich loaf.


For 2 loaves

4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (a 15 oz. can is just a little more)

1 egg lightly beaten

1/4 cup milk at room temperature

5 tablespoons slightly softened butter

1 1/4 cup of sultanas or dark raisins


Put 4 cups of bread flour,  the yeast,  sugar,  cinnamon,  and salt in the mixing bowl.  Stir the ingredients well.  Add the pumpkin puree and egg and mix with a spoon.  Now add about 3/4 of the measured milk and stir to start making the dough.  It should still seem dry at this point.  Add a couple of tablespoons of butter and begin mixing with the hook attachment or by hand if desired.  Slowly continue to add the rest of the butter.  The dough will soon be moistened.  After all the butter has been added,   adjust with more flour or milk as needed to make a soft and elastic dough.  Mixing will take about 7-8 minutes.  I find it ok if the final dough very lightly sticks to the bottom of the bowl at the end of mixing.  Gradually add the raisins during the last 2 minutes of the kneading.  I add about half,  remove the dough from the bowl,  and then fold in the rest.  This helps to evenly distribute them. Or just add all the raisins with the mixer or by hand if you prefer.

Shape the dough into a round and place it in a lightly oiled bowl.  Make sure the dough is oiled all around.  Cover with plastic and let it rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  When the dough is ready,  preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 portions with a pastry cutter or knife.  Shape as desired,  boules or batards,  and place them on parchment paper.  Proof until they are about double in volume.

When the dough has risen sufficiently you can brush with a wash made of 1 lightly beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water.  Or you can choose to brush with melted butter after it has finished baking.  One of my loaves was lightly dusted with flour before scoring.  Place the loaves on a baking sheet(s) and bake about 25 minutes.  The internal temperature when done should be 190 degrees.  I didn’t have any problems, but if they are browning too quickly,  cover with foil.  Be sure to let them cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

For one batch,  I lightly cooked in a frying or sauté pan the pumpkin puree before adding it to the dough.  I melted 2 tablespoons of the butter and dissolved the sugar as best as I could, then added the pumpkin and cinnamon.  I cooked it on low heat for about 10 minutes.  Perhaps this process helps the flavor of the canned puree.  It makes for a tasty filling whether you think it helps or not.

It would be good to experiment with other pumpkin spices like ground cloves,  ginger,  nutmeg,  or even cardamom.  Dried cranberries,  cherries,  figs or other fruit would be nice too.



Another pumpkin recipe!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2013 7:27 am

    Can’t help but LOVED your amazing looking bake! =D

  2. Marcella Rousseau permalink
    November 5, 2013 12:54 am

    Those loaves look so pretty! OK, you got me. This pumpkin recipe is more my speed. I’ve already got all the ingredients and as soon as I have time, I will be baking these! I might try one with almond milk and some ground cloves.

    • November 5, 2013 3:44 am

      Thank you! Using brown sugar in one of the batches worked out just as well though I would have preferred to use light brown sugar or a mix of white and the brown. Let me know how it goes, the almond milk sounds pretty good!

      • Marcella Rousseau permalink
        November 5, 2013 5:37 pm

        I’m now thinking of using blackstrap molasses for the sugar. I hope I don’t ruin this recipe altogether with all my experimenting! OK, I’ve jotted down your recipe. Here I go!

  3. November 5, 2013 8:23 pm

    I’d like to know how the blackstrap molasses works out. It’s got to be much healthier for you!

    • Marcella Rousseau permalink
      November 5, 2013 11:40 pm

      I changed the recipe so much that I don’t think I can call it your recipe anymore! I made it more nutritious being that I have a health blog and all, I’m sure you can understand that and my lifestyle. I used 1 tablespoon (or a tiny bit less) of blackstrap molasses. It’s very high in iron and has some calcium too. I substituted 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour for the bread flour. I ran out of bread flour. I only had 1 1/4 cups and had to also use bleached, enriched flour which I had picked up by mistake. I used 4 Tablespoons butter instead of 5. I didn’t put it in an oiled bowl, I put it in a buttered bowl so it still ended up being 5 tablespoons of butter, just no oil. It still cut back on the fat. I added the cinnamon but also added ground cloves. I used the almond milk and I only had 1/2 cup of raisins. I didn’t get the volume you got but that might be because I made my loaves longer. Mine were 13 x 4. What are yours?

      I often tend to not get your volume unless I bake the bread in a 9 x 5 pan, then I get very good volume. Maybe those times I used the other yeast. Who knows. I would have liked more salt. 1 teaspoon didn’t seem to be enough. What do you think? I’m going to have this for breakfast toasted. I might like it that way. The dough was very soft and sticky. I had to keep adding flour but I was afraid of adding too much so it ended up still being sticky. I think I used more than 5 cups of flour. I think I may have deflated the loaves when I brushed them with the egg wash. They didn’t rebound after that.

      I should have added some sugar since I used so little molasses and so few raisins. I didn’t want to use too much molasses because that flavor can take over. All in all, it won’t go to waste. I’ve already eaten 3 slices. I’ll be able to judge it better tomorrow for the flavor. Maybe pumpkin bread is just not my thing. I’m more of a pumpkin pie girl. But yours looked so pretty! I didn’t even get your color! My loaves are brownish. lol.

      Once I made a pumpkin pie from an actual pumpkin I bought. I brought the pie to a pot luck. People asked me why my pumpkin pie was yellow. I said because my pumpkin was yellow. They said, “You made a pumpkin pie from scratch?!!” I said yes. Needless to say, they didn’t leave me any leftovers to take home. First they made me feel guilty like I was poisoning them with a yellow pumpkin pie, then they ate the whole thing! It was a lot of work!


  4. November 6, 2013 5:14 am

    I usually use baking spray for oiling the bowl and dough, I should probably mention that as an alternative in the recipe. The 1 t. of salt was enough I felt for this loaf which used pretty close to 4 cups flour. I think yours may have needed more salt since you used much less sweetener and more flour… I try to keep the dough “tacky” or slightly sticky so that the bread comes out moist. I hope the moistness came out good for you. These were about 9×5 in size. I wonder why your dough deflated. Could they have risen too much? I use a small pastry brush with plastic and very flexible bristles. It has a very light touch since it is not dense. It still on holds well what your trying to brush on and is easy to clean. The regular bristle types can be too rigid and heavy on dough.

    The first time I made it, I also had to add more flour than I wanted. I adjusted to make sure the next batches would be at the 4 cup or slightly more amount of flour. Bread making is sometimes hard to convey since we all have slightly different judgments at the various steps.

    I’ve roasted pumpkin, and made pumpkin pickles this season, but not pie from scratch. That is really going all out! Pumpkin empanadas using fresh pumpkin is on my list to do. I hope to get to them soon.

    Thanks for relaying all your observations on the bread! It really gives me another perspective on it. I think your adjustments must have given it a different flavor and character and turns it into your own! I’m sure it will be enjoyed!

    • Marcella Rousseau permalink
      November 7, 2013 10:08 pm

      I’m beginning to realize that there is more to this baking thing than I thought! And I’m not a novice baker!! I didn’t know that you could let dough rise too long! I think I did. After doing some research online I learned that the combination of letting it rise too long and not having enough sugar, the yeast runs out of food (sugar) and the dough deflates and the bread becomes dense which is what happened to me. Live and learn I always say! I’m not done with this bread yet. I plan to make a bread pudding out of the remainder of one loaf. If it turns out good, then I will do the same thing to the other. It will give me an excuse to add more milk & egg to it (calcium & vitamin D) and I can have it for breakfast.

      My pastry brush has seen better days. I have a new one, but the old one is so cute. It has the face of a chef with a chef’s hat on it. I should throw it out. lol!

      Pumpkin pickles! I never heard of them. You like your condiments for sure!

      I bought some rapidrise yeast and some active dry yeast today and a sack of bread flour. I want to bake some whole wheat bread soon. The nice thing about baking your own bread is that it doesn’t contain all the sodium that store-bought breads use.


      • November 8, 2013 12:56 am

        For a while my bread would come out with splits on the side or top. It makes for some funny looking bread! I finally figured out that I was under proofing the dough. Yes, live and learn! It was one of those eureka moments when it dawned on me what I was doing wrong. I’ve also had my share of over proofing, mostly on the first rise. The dough gets “puffy” and resists degassing or “punching down” for shaping. Since I’m self taught, I’ve had to go by trial and error. There is always something new to learn or some nuance to notice.
        Mexican bread pudding is also on my list. It’s a recipe very close to what my grandmother made. I make it every year for the holidays. It’s probably the only reason I have to buy commercial bread.
        Even though home made bread stales more quickly, (unless you store it in the freezer), it tastes so much more natural. The difference between home made and store bought tortillas is also very noticeable.
        Whole wheat bread is one of my favorites especially for sandwiches. For me it’s trickier to get a rise that equals that from bread flour since there is not as much gluten.
        Have fun with the bread pudding!

      • Marcella Rousseau permalink
        November 8, 2013 7:10 pm

        I made the bread pudding this morning with a creme brulee mix that I bought at the store. I added a diced, ripe red pear and the results were beyond my expectations! Now I have a delicious, nutritious breakfast treat for several mornings. I love it when kitchen experiments turn out well :- ) Really, you should make a bread pudding with one of your pumpkin loaves! It’s delicious!

  5. November 9, 2013 2:46 pm

    Wow! That sounds very creative and yes certainly delicious!

  6. February 4, 2014 10:40 pm

    Just a thought I recently tried my hand at baking pumpkin yeast bread. The recipe turned out fine almost the same as yours except without the egg. In my opinion the pumpkin taste wasn’t evident in the bread, I am reticent to over do it on the spices as many have antifungal properties that affect the yeast rise. The thought occurred to me that wouldn’t it be more flavourful (pumpkin) if the puree was added later say during the second rise, so the flavour would not be compromised?

    • February 5, 2014 1:45 am

      That’s an interesting idea. My first concern would be that adding the pumpkin puree later would interfere with the development of the dough. The gas pockets that are starting to form during the first rise and that get larger during the final proof and baking might be broken up. It could result in a denser bread. Maybe the payoff would still be well worth it if that were the case. I also wonder if it would be more difficult to evenly distribute the puree into the dough at that point. I’ve tried using a higher proportion of pumpkin puree, but it didn’t make very much difference. It’s the same as in making bread with sweet potato. There is so much to learn about baking bread. Thanks for visiting. I’d be interested to know how it comes out if you try it. You could be onto something!

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