One of my favorite things I have done on the blog is the 40 loaves project. Over a period of about 18 months, I tried and shared 40 different bread recipes. From the experience, I learned how to bake all sorts of bread and totally got over my "fear" of bread baking.
I am pretty sure that the first loaf of bread I ever made was Peter Reinhart's chocolate cinnamon babka from Artisian Breads Every Day (my absolute favorite cookbook). It's special to me because it's delicious, and it's the first time I remember pulling something out of the oven and thinking "wow."
This pumpkin bread uses a variation of the babka recipe. I had pie pumpkins from Trader Joe's and after some online searching didn't turn up a pumpkin bread that looked interesting, I decided to create my own. The recipe took some tweaking (this is version two) and I'm excited to share it here.
Pumpkin swirl bread, adapted from Peter Reinhart's Chocolate Cinnamon Babka
for the bread :
- 2 T instant yeast
- 3/4 C lukewarm milk
- 6 T unsalted butter, melted
- 4 T sugar
- 1 t vanilla
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 1/3 C white flour
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 1 t salt
for the pumpkin filling :
- 1 pie pumpkin
- 1/4 brown sugar
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1 t nutmeg
- 3 T maple syrup
Whisk yeast and milk together until yeast dissolves. Set aside for about five minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and melted butter. Use the paddle attachment and mix on medium for about 1-2 minutes until smooth.
In a small bowl, add vanilla to your egg yolks and break up the yolks with a fork.
Pour the egg and vanilla mixture into your sugar and butter and mix on medium-high until mixture is fluffy.
Stop the mixer and add in your flour and salt, then pour in the milk and yeast mixture. Resume mixing at a low speed until the dough is soft and tacky. Switch to a dough hook after a minute or two if needed.
Knead the dough with your hands for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. Form it into a ball, place in a bowl (I just use the mixer bowl), cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise at room temperature for about 2.5 hours.
Prepare the filling with the dough is rising.
Wash your pie pumpkin and remove the stem. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Place sides face down on a tin foil wrapped cookie sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 350* for 1.5 hours or until pumpkin is soft.
After baking, let you pumpkin cool then peel back skin of the pumpkin and put the soft cooked insides to a bowl.
Combine the baked pumpkin with all the other filling ingredients and mix well.
After your dough has had time to rise, roll it out as thin as you can. Spread the pumpkin filling over the top like you're adding sauce to pizza dough.
Roll the dough up tightly.
Use a butter knife to cut down the dough roll lengthwise. Open up your roll into two pieces.
Cross one piece over the other, then continue to criss-cross in the pieces in both directions until you've formed a twist.
Cover your twist with plastic wrap and allow to rise another hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 350*. Bake your bread for about 45 minutes or until top is dark brown.
Allow to cool and enjoy!