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Pumpkin Seed Sourdough Bread

This sourdough bread will quickly become a fall tradition. A bread that looks like a pumpkin and has crunchy candied pumpkin seeds throughout is such a fun and tasty treat. Sourdough bread is filled with fiber and qualities that make it so much better for you than storebought bread. I added step-by-step pictures to help you and make it fun too. Pumpkin is loaded with tons of vitamin A which can often be hard to get unless you eat a lot of orange-colored veggies and fruits. Pumpkin has more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A! We need these colorful foods in our diet and pumpkin has what you need!
Servings: 1 loaf

Ingredients

Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Bread

  • 50 grams Bubbly Sourdough Starter (1/4 cup. See step 1 of instructions.)
  • 250 grams warm water (80°F) (1-1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 500 grams Bread Flour (4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) You can use other flours, too: white unbleached flour, white whole wheat, spelt. Whole wheat flour will be more dense and won’t rise as much as white flour. For your first few loaves you'll have more success if you don't use it. Don’t use gluten-free flours.
  • 184 grams Pumpkin Puree ¾ cup
  • ½ teaspoon Molasses blackstrap
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 9 grams Celtic Sea Salt (finely ground) (½ teaspoons) or Pink Himalayan salt
  • ¾ cup Candied Pumpkin Seeds see recipe above

Materials

Instructions

  • You need to make sure your sourdough starter is bubbly and ready to go. If it has not been fed recently then take a few spoonfuls of sourdough starter from your fridge and give it that much flour and water and let it ferment for 4 - 6 hours. Here is more help for a bubbly sourdough starter.

Toasted Candied Pumpkin Seeds

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until they turn light brown and begin to pop and smell fragrant. Stir frequently as the seeds toast. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • In the same skillet, spread the sugar evenly in the pan and melt the sugar without stirring. You can shake the pan if necessary to distribute the sugar in an even layer.
  • When it turns evenly golden or amber, turn off the heat, add the toasted pumpkin seeds and salt, and stir to combine with a heatproof wooden spoon or spatula. When the seeds all clump together, transfer to a plate to cool. Once cool enough to handle, break into tiny pieces. Store at room temperature till ready to use. Store extras in an airtight container for two weeks.

Pumpkin Bread

  • Add the bubbly sourdough starter and warm water to a medium bowl. Mix them together with a whisk until well combined.
  • Add the pumpkin puree, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the starter and mix thoroughly to combine.
  • Then add the flour and salt and combine together with a stiff spatula. You can also use your hands to get the flour fully incorporated. The dough will look a little scraggly, feel dense, and stick to your fingers. Try to scrape off as much dough from your hands as possible but don't over mix it at this point.
  • Then mix in the toasted seeds into the bread, folding over and kneading the bread a few times till well incorporated. Gently knead the dough for about a minute to incorporate the ingredients and work the dough into a ball. Do this by folding the dough over and pressing it into the center until the dough starts to turn into a ball.
  • Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise overnight for 8-10 hours (around 70°F). The dough will have risen in the bowl and look puffier than it did before.
  • After it has risen, use your spatula and gently pull the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust your hands with flour and start at the top and fold the dough over to the center, repeating on all sides (add more flour if needed).
  • Line an 8-inch bowl with a towel and dust generously with flour and place bread seam side up. Cover the bowl and let it rest.
  • Preheat your oven to 450°F. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your pot, leaving excess so you can grab the bread and take it out of the pot. Place your parchment paper on the counter and cut four pieces of string, about 24 inches long. Dip the string in olive oil and run between your fingers to get rid of excess oil. Place the strings on parchment paper as shown.
  • Flip the bread out of the bowl and place the loaf in the center. Tie the strings (not too tightly, to allow for the bread to expand as it bakes) over the loaf so that it is divided into eight equal sections. Cut off any excess string. 
  • With a small razor blade or serrated knife, score the bread between the sections. Pick up the parchment and carefully place your bread in the pot.
  • Place the lid on the pot and place it in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue baking for 30 more minutes.
  • When the bread is done, take it out of the pot and remove the strings and discard them. Let it cool on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes to an hour, although we often can't wait to eat it! Store loaf in a bag on the counter, or this bread freezes beautifully.