I woke this morning to the sun shining through my window and a chill in my bedroom. Snuggle weather has officially arrived. The temperature being just cold enough to make me not want to get out of my tangled of blankets makes me crave pumpkin.
Pumpkin is one of my favorite foods. It is absolutely wonderful and I love it. When I was in New Zealand, I used it almost every week in my cooking and baking. I might also have used it so much because it was in season, cheap at the farmer’s market, and I was a poor master’s student. In any case, it only made my love for the delectable squash grow.
Also on beautiful chilly New England days, all I want to do is make bread. A wonderful, warm, crunchy, crusty bread. So, I scoured the internet in search of a recipe that would fulfill that need.
And boy, did I.
The original recipe was for a cranberry walnut pumpkin bread, but I’ve changed a few things, as is my wont. For starters, I swapped out walnuts and tagged in pecans. There’s just something about the pecan and pumpkin combination. It’s warm, it’s hearty, it’s rich. In addition to the change in nut, I also used fresh cranberries instead of dried, honey instead of sugar, and substituted 1 1/2 cups of white flour with whole wheat. We’re trying to be a bit healthy with our indulgences.
This bread is hearty, crusty, crunchy. It is absolutely fabulous toasted with butter and honey. (which is how I recommend you eat it). I bet it would be delicious with pumpkin butter, or jelly. Enjoy!
The original recipe comes from thekitchn.com. They have some wonderful stuff over there. You should check them out.
Pumpkin, Pecan, and Cranberry Bread
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 cup fresh cranberries, sliced or roughly chopped
1 cup water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and let sit for a few minutes for the yeast to dissolve. Stir in the pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add 3 1/2 cups of flour to form a loose batter.
- Add the cranberries, pecans, and 1/2 cup additional flour to the dough. Use your hands to squeeze the dough and work in the additional ingredients. The dough will be very sticky and loose. Scrape as much dough from your hands as you can, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for at least 2 hours in a warm place. I used the microwave. The dough should double in bulk during this time.
- Once risen, but before shaping your dough, heat the oven to 450°F. If you have a baking stone, set it in the oven now. If not, set a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
- Sprinkle your work surface generously with flour and turn the dough out on top. (If making two loaves or rolls, divide the dough now and shape each loaf or roll as follows.) With floured hands, fold the dough in half toward you so the un-floured surface is sealed inside and the outside is coated in flour. If the outside is still sticky, rub it gently with a little more flour.
- When ready to bake, slide the dough onto the baking stone or the back of another baking sheet. (If cooking on a baking sheet, remove the sheet from the oven and quickly lift the bread on top.) Cut a few slash-marks in the top of the loaf with a serrated knife.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
- Cool completely before slicing. I was impatient. But, it’s worth the wait. Let it cool.