Sourdough Spelt Pumpkin Bread

It is always preferable (and more affordable) to use the seasonal produce, so I promise you that this wouldn't be the final pumpkin recipe. :-)) So please do bear with me with all my repetitious pumpkin recipes.

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together splet flour and instant dried yeast. Make a well in the center and add in the pumpkin puree, milk, maple syrup, walnut oil and salt.

  2. Mix on the slow speed until all the ingredients blended. Then increase the speed and knead on medium until dough forms. Now lower the speed, and gradually add in the sourdough starter and knead it into the dough, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic in appearance. The sourdough starter here adds extra depth of flavor and moisture, and also speeds the fermentation slightly even in dough using the usual amount of instant yeast.

  3. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl with a little walnut oil, return the dough ball, and cover with a plastic wrap. Leave it at room temperature for 1 hour or until it’s doubled in size. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Punch down the dough, knead briefly and cut into two 200 grams pieces and four 160 grams pieces.

  4. Shape two 200 grams of dough each into a round and place them in a loaf pan lined with a baking paper. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and proof for 45 minutes until doubled. To make the braid, form each of four 160 grams of dough into strands of about 25-cm in length, tapered so the center of each piece is thicker than the ends. Pinch the 4 strands together at one tapered end. Cross strand 1 over strand 3, strand 2 over strand 3, and strand 4 over strand 2. Repeat until you get to the end of the strands. Pinch all loose ends together. Now pinch two tapered ends together and place it into a 18-20 cm greased springform pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and proof for 45 minutes until doubled.

  5. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Once the dough has doubled, brush the tops of two loaves with well-beaten egg white and sprinkle the poppy or sesame seeds atop. Make a cross on the top of rectangular loaf and bake in the center of the preheated oven for 35 minutes until golden brown.

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