“It isn’t bread that feeds you; it is life and the spirit that feed you through bread.”
–Angelus Silesius, in Der Cherubinische Wandersmann
Nothing in the world is more fun to me than making a beautiful loaf of bread. It is like walking in the footsteps of bakers throughout the centuries before me. Finding joy and pleasure in creating bread fresh from my oven. I love the comments of people who walk through my front door when I am baking, ” what is that wonderful smell?” they will exclaim.
Such a gentleness it creates in my soul to make bread. Mixing the ingredients and waiting for the magic to begin. Wild yeast in the air that are beyond my control, that infuse my bread and make it rise. It reminds me that there is grace all around me. That there are things put in place, wild yeast and bacteria’s that know exactly what to do, only given the right environment. Making sourdough bread is a lesson in faith. I do what I know to do, then I let go and trust that the bread will rise. I not sure why I feel such joy when it does rise, like it has done a hundred times before, but I do. Make some sourdough bread and see if you find new virtues. Joy and faith being mixed with love to make this journey on earth a place of culturing our food to give us life.
Pumpkin sourdough is one of the best recipes to start with when you are new to sourdough breads. The pumpkin gives the sourdough cultures something to eat , so it rises beautifully and easily. The taste is incredible and the color is so fall like it will make you proud. You will feel like a real artisan baker.
- 1⅛ cups water
- ½ cup sourdough starter
- 4 ¼ to 5 cups of whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup of pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp of butter
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- ½ cup of sucanat
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Beat together 1⅛ cups of the water, the starter, and 2 ½ cups of flour in a large bowl.
- Thoroughly blend the squash and remaining ¼ cup water and stir into the sponge along with salt and oil. Gradually sir in enough of the remaining flour to form a dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cover for 10 minutes until it relaxes. Meanwhile, wash and dry the bowl. Thoroughly knead the dough, adding flour as necessary to keep it from sticking. When it is smooth and elastic, form the dough into a ball.
- Lightly grease the bowl and put the dough inside smooth side down. Now turn the ball over to grease the top. Cover the bowl and set aside for 5 hours.
- Place dough on a non stick surface or flour a board and roll it out into a rectangle. About 16×12.
- Spread generously with butter.
- Sprinkle with sucanat and cinnamon and chopped pecans. Roll into a log and pinch sides closed.
- Divide the dough and place in greased pans.
- Cover and let them rise for 1 to 3 hours or until the dough has risen to a desired size.
- Bake in preheated oven 400º for 20 minutes then lower the heat to 350º for 20 to 30 minutes more or until they are brown and firm-sided and sound hollow when removed from pans and tapped on bottom.
- Cool on rack