October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

A few years ago, a missionary friend talked me into volunteering to cook at a summer bible camp. I had visions of baking wonderful foods for the children who would, because of my culinary prowess, love and admire me. When I arrived with my truck load of organic vegetables, organic whole-grain flours of all sorts, and whole-grain pastas, I was shiny-faced and excited to prepare uber-healthful foods so the children would be healthy and thriving. Then, I cooked. This is what I learnt:
  1. Children hate foods that are healthful.
  2. Children have evil powers of persuasion (it looks a lot like mournful sadness).
  3. Children, especially female children, would rather starve themselves to death (yes, actual death) than eat anything that even vaguely looks like it might have nutritional value.
  4. Children do not like whole-wheat bread, no matter how carefully and lovingly it has been prepared.

By the end of the first week I was putting sugar in the spaghetti sauce. BUT! I did figure out a way to get them to eat healthful bread. Enter, pumpkin bread.*cues the angels* You, and even the very small controlling people who live with you, will love this bread. It is exquisitely moist, has a lovely thin crust, and the subtlest hint of pumpkin flavour.

  • 2 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 4 tbsp. butter, cut into small bits
  • 1-1/2 c. very hot water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-1/4 c. pureed pumpkin (bake and puree fresh pumpkin if possible, otherwise canned is ok, too)
  • 4 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 4-5 c. bread flour
  • 1 egg, beaten (for washing the loaves)
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds

Mix together the yeast and 1/2 cup warm water; cover; set aside for approximately 10 minutes, until it is foamy. Place the hot water and butter in a large bowl; stir until the butter has melted. Add 1 cup of bread flour to the water/butter mixture; stir for 3-4 minutes. Add the salt, egg, pumpkin, brown sugar, yeast mixture, and whole-wheat flour. Stir for 2 minutes. Add bread flour, 1 cup at a time, until it forms a soft dough, which will be sticky, but not so soft that you can't pick it up. Turn out on lightly floured surface; knead, adding flour as needed, until the dough forms a soft ball that is smooth, soft, and elastic. Place the dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray; cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 40 minutes, until double in size. Turn the raised dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead lightly to partially de-gas; divide the dough into two equal parts and shape each into a loaf. If you choose to use a loaf pan, a greased 9 x 5 x 3" pan works well, otherwise, use a greased cookie sheet. Let the loaves rise for another 30 minutes, or until double in size. Right before placing the loaves in the oven, brush them with the second beaten egg and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds. Slash each loaf on the diagonal. Place the loaves on the center rack of an oven that has been preheated to 400f. Mist the loaves with water then quickly close the oven. After 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350f and continue baking for 15-20 minutes, until the loaves are brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Nom nom nom!! Enjoy! :D



vivid said...

Worldwide, it is ahneunbun?

Mon Blog said...

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