Pumpkin bread

pan di zucca

Soft pumpkin bread

In recent weeks, close to Halloween, I have made many pumpkin-based recipes. One of those that gave me the most satisfaction was the soft pumpkin bread. I must say that I attempted different recipes and messed around trying many interesting combinations.
At the end I realised my own recipe brings together the qualities that I was most interested in enhancing

sweet or savoury ?

I tried preparing both a sweet and a savoury version of this recipe. The ingredients remain more or less the same except for the amount of sugar or salt and the filling.

Pumpkin bread ingredients:

  • water roux (125 ml water and 35 g flour)
  • 470 g strong flour (bread flour)
  • 150 g pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g sugar (halve the sugar for the salty version)
  • 25 g of butter
  • 100 g of natural sourdough (or 15 g of fresh brewer’s yeast. In this case we reduce the quantity of flour to 400 g)
  • (orange zest and cinnamon only for the sweet version)
  • 4 g of salt for the sweet version (10 g of salt for the savoury version)
  • 20 ml of milk for brushing

filling for sweet version

150 g of grated dark chocolate

filling for savoury versione

80 g of olive or mushrooms paté or whatever paté you want diluted with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.


1. water roux

Firstly we need to prepare the water roux. Take a saucepan and put in the flour and slowly tip in the water. With a hand whisk mix the ingredients until no lumps remain. Place the saucepan over low heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick.  The result will be a kind of a shiny batter. Let it cool to room temperature covered with film .

2. making the bread

Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl mixer. Now it’s the time to add the water roux, the liquid sourdough, the pumpkin puree and the egg. Using the dough hook attachment begin kneading until the dough becomes smooth. Tip in the softened butter, little by little and carry on to knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Finally add the salt

3. let the dough rise

Turn out the dough on lightly greased work surface. Stretch and folds the dough a couple of time. Transfer it to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
During the winter I usually like to leave the dough rising inside the oven with a pan of hot water next to it and the light on.

4. filling

When the dough has almost doubled roll out it into a greased work surface forming a rectangle. Put the filling in the centre .
For the sweet version, grate the dark chocolate and spread it over all the dough.
For the salty version dilute the paste with olive oil and brush it on all over dough.

5. shape the dough

We can now proceed to form our pumpkin bread. Weigh the dough and divide it into 4 or 5 equal parts.

Shape the dough pieces into balls. Prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Use a long thread to tie around the dough balls in a way that the ball is divided into 8 parts.
Do not tie the balls too tightly as it will continue to rise a lot more during the second proofing and baking.
cover with film and let sit for 1 hour and transfer to the fridge for all the night

6. bake

In the morning, transfert the pumpkins bread dough out of the fridge, leaving them at room temperature for about 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C then brush them with milk . Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top

Remove the pumpkins from the oven and transfer them to a rack and allow to cool completely.

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