No-Knead Pumpkin Loaf

>> Monday, November 23, 2009

We survived the marathon! Not only that -- Stephen met his goal (with a time of 3:03:59) and qualified for Boston, though he doesn't think he'll run it this year. My story is a bit more tragic. I didn't get my goal time of 3:59:59. I didn't even get under 4:05:00, much to my displeasure. The "wall" thing everyone talks about -- when your muscles literally runs out of glycogen. Well, it's no joke. I finished the race in 4:10:40, and in a load of pain. I'll post an "official" marathon post later in the week, but just had to share the short story now.

Anyway, back to baked goods. We're here in NJ with my in-laws getting ready for an awesome Thanksgiving dinner, among other things. I'm considering adding this bread to the menu . . .

I made this loaf a few months ago. And I'm happy to report that my first experience baking no-knead bread was a great success! I chose to include the following flavors -- pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, rosemary, and walnut. It's a hefty little thing . . . and I think it tastes best toasted and generously topped with this on-the-fly sweet pumpkin butter I whipped up (recipe also below).

What you'll need . . .

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (plain, this isn't a sweet or spiced pumpkin bread)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon tepid water (or a bit more depending)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw crushed walnuts
  • 1 generous tablespoon rosemary (I used dried, but am sure fresh would work wonderfully)

Method . . .

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and yeast. Then add in the salt.
  2. Make an impression with your fist inside the dry ingredients and then plop in the pumpkin puree and water.
  3. Mix together -- this should be relatively easy . . . and if it isn't, add a bit more tepid water. I ended up using my hands because it was just easier for me . . . however, keep in mind, the dough will be very, very, VERY sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl with a piece of oiled plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise for anywhere between 12 and 18 hours. (I went to work after mixing mine . . . and only waited 12 hours, but I've always heard it's best to wait even longer.)
  5. After that time has passed, generously flour a work surface and use a spatula to scrape your bubbly dough onto it.
  6. Flour your hands and pat down the loaf into a square shape. Then fold each of the sides in toward the middle and flip over -- seam-side down -- and gently shape into a round loaf.
  7. Put some cornmeal down on a baking sheet . . . and transfer the loaf to it to rise for another 2 hours (again, cover with a towel or oiled plastic wrap). Make sure to get the cornmeal on there, or you'll find your loaf sticking to the pan.
  8. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Also place a pie plate on the bottom rack -- half full of water. I also used a pizza stone to bake my bread. So if you have one, also place the pizza stone in the oven as it preheats. (If not, you're fine -- you'll just use the sheet the dough is currently rising upon.)
  9. With a knife, slice a 1/2 inch deep cut into the top of your loaf.
  10. Place your loaf in the oven (middle rack) to bake by either placing it on the pizza stone or simply sliding in the baking sheet. You'll want to bake it for about 25 minutes . . . then check to see how it's doing . . . then baking for approx. another 25 more -- until the crust is golden brown. If your crust starts burning, you may wish to cover it with a piece of tin-foil while you continue baking.


What you'll need . . .
  • 3 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Method . . .
  1. Put all ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Set mixer to high speed and cream together all ingredients.
  3. Need more butter? This recipe makes enough for like half the loaf . . . so just make it again :)

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