Monday, September 17, 2012

Pumpkin Challah Bread

I love pumpkin in anything except pumpkin pie.  Go figure.  The other day I was wondering just what other pumpkin thing I could make that, previously, had not been considered, well, pumpkin-y.  As I love challah bread and make it frequently, I wondered if it would translate into as wonderful a pumpkin loaf as it is a plain one.  A little bit of experimentation yielded amazing results.  This is one fragrant, delicious loaf, and I made it in the bread machine.  With just a hint of sweetness, it works equally well for dinner as it does breakfast, it freezes beautifully, and makes one amazing piece of cinnamon toast!

Pumpkin Challah Bread

1 pinch saffron threads
1 tablespoon water, boiling
1 extra large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup hot water (100°F-105°F)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups white bread flour
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

To Finish
1 egg, beaten for brushing over

·        In a small bowl, soak the saffron threads in the 1 tablespoon of boiling water for 10 minutes.
·        In the meantime, place the beaten egg, honey, hot water, melted butter, and pumpkin purée in a bowl. Mix well.  Add the saffron threads with the soaking water, stir and pour the mixture into the baking pan of your bread machine.
·        Mix the salt into the flour and add to the baking pan and spoon the yeast on top.  Set the program to 'DOUGH.'.
·        When the dough is ready (mine takes 90 minutes), transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead it for 2-3 minutes. (The dough will feel quite soft and silky.).
·        Shape the dough into 3 equal-sized pieces, then roll each piece into a sausage shape measuring approximately 12 inches in length.  Pinch the top end of each length of dough together, then weave the pieces into a braid/plait.
·        Pinch the bottom ends together, then tuck both ends under the dough to form a neatly braided loaf.
·        Place the dough on a greased baking sheet, brush with oil, cover with plastic wrap/cling film and leave it to rise/prove in a warm place.

·        Preheat the oven425°F.When the dough has nearly doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap and lightly brush the top of the loaf with the beaten egg.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and leave it to cool before serving.

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Kay @ The Church Cook said...

I love Challah bread, but addition of pumpkin will be most amazing! Bookmarking this recipe, Pattie!

Mich - Piece of Cake said...

Pumpkin adds such a gorgeous colour to the bread!

Linda said...

Thank you for experimenting! I will definitely try your recipe - can't wait to taste it!