Pumpkin Yeast Bread

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It is no secret that I’m putting pumpkin in everything these days.  I talked about it earlier this week when I made pumpkin coffee cake.  It is also no secret that I love to bake bread!  Just look at all of these recipes. It is really one of my favorite things to do on a lazy Sunday. There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread in your house.  TheBetterHalf is pretty spoiled – I can’t remember the last time we had store bought bread!

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It’s only natural that I combined my love of pumpkin and my love of bread and made  a loaf of pumpkin yeast bread!  I made this last year and absolutely loved it.  It is definitely going to be an annual fall tradition. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, but so delicious, and gives it the prettiest orange color.  It makes delicious toast – slather it with some butter and cinnamon sugar and you have the best cinnamon toast that you’ve ever tasted. I had about 10 pieces over the past week, so trust me on this one!  It also makes incredible french toast.  In fact if you are going to use this bread solely for sweet things, I would add a little more cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to the dough – you can never have enough cinnamon in my opinion.

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But this bread is really versatile, and is great for savory dishes! TheBetterHalf discovered this.  I’m more of a toast person than a sandwich person, but he is a sandwich architect / connoisseur / king. So he decided to use this pumpkin bread to make a grilled cheese. But not just any grilled cheese – he used a mixture of mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar and added jalapeños. The flavor combo was out of this world!! A hint of sweetness from the bread, a salty nutty bite from the cheese, and heat from the jalapeños. Mmmmm. Look at that melty, cheesy goodness.

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The star of the sandwich of course is the pumpkin bread!

This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread. We go through the first loaf pretty quickly, but I like to freeze the second loaf.  You just slice the bread, wrap it in some plastic wrap, put it in a freezer-safe ziplock bag, and freeze it. You can pop pieces from the freezer right into the toaster whenever you want.

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This would be a great bread to make for Thanksgiving breakfast. Then use the rest to make sandwiches with Thanksgiving leftovers! Speaking of Thanksgiving, stay tuned this week for 5 days of Thanksgiving recipes! I have already been cooking up a storm this weekend and can’t wait to share some of my favorite recipes with you.

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Pumpkin Yeast Bread
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast to water and let it sit for a few minutes, until slightly foamy. Add milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, 4 cups flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Using the paddle attachment, mix at medium speed for 2 minutes, until well mixed.

Switch to the dough hook, and gradually add remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Knead dough at medium speed for 5 – 7 minutes, until you have a smooth, elastic dough. This can also be done by hand on a well floured counter.

Form dough into a ball, and put it into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Grease 2 10 x 5-inch pans.
Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface or a silicone mat. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into loaves and place in the prepared pans.  Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the temperature in the middle of the bread registers 190°F.

Remove bread pans and cool on a wire rack

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