Saturday, October 16, 2021

Pumpkin-shaped Bread



Fall is in the air (although not in southern California), and that means pumpkins!  All across the InterWeb there are gorgeous breads, shaped like pumpkins and tasting all spicy.  For the October challenge, our hostess, Cathy, from Bread Experience, asked the Babes to make Rustic SourdoughPumpkin-shaped Bread. 

While I used the fall spices, I used cauliflower puree instead of pumpkin, primarily because I had cauliflower puree that needed to be used, and I didn’t want to open a new can of pumpkin for such a small amount.  You really can’t tell the difference, taste-wise, in the final bread.

Cathy’s instructions advised not to tie the string too tightly, but, I think I didn’t tie it tightly enough, because the final shape has just a hint of pumpkin. 

I also studied techniques from other bakers to learn how they achieved the right shape, so, for me, this is a work in progress, and it’s definitely a technique I would like to try again.  I put extra slices in the freezer for future snacks.

Go to Cathy’s website to read about her variations and suggestions, then, bake along with Babes for this delicious autumn bread.


Check out the other Bread Baking Babes:




World Bread Day 2021



Celebrating World Bread Day gave me the opportunity to audition a new bread recipe, using one of my favorite techniques.   The bread is Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread from King Arthur Baking Co.  I love the tangzhong technique because the texture of the bread is soft and lovely, and you can’t go wrong with chocolate.  They were so good, that they never made it to the freezer for future enjoyment!  I would enthusiastically recommend adding this bread to your baking repertoire.

Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread

Prep 35 mins

Bake 30 to 35 mins

Total 6 hrs

Yield one sandwich loaf



Tangzhong additions

  • 4 tablespoons (57g) butter
  • 1/3 cup (76g) whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) instant yeast




1.      To make the tangzhong: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

2.      Combine the flour, milk, and water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until thickened.

3.      Transfer the tangzhong to a large bowl. Add the butter and whisk until melted, then add the milk and egg, whisking until smooth.

4.      Add the yeast and stir to combine. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.

5.      To make the dough: Combine the tangzhong mixture with the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chips), then mix and knead — by mixer or bread machine — to make a smooth, elastic dough; this could take almost 15 minutes in a stand mixer.

6.      Stir in the chocolate chips; some hand kneading in the bowl may ease incorporation.

7.      Shape the dough into a ball and let it rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

8.      Gently deflate the dough and divide it into four pieces; if you have a scale each piece will weigh about 180g.

9.      Flatten each piece of dough into a 5" x 8" rectangle, then fold the short ends in toward one another like a letter. Flatten the folded pieces into rectangles again (this time about 3" x 6") and, starting with a short end, roll them each into a 4" log.

10.  Place the logs in a row of four — seam side down and side by side — in a lightly greased 9" x 5" or 9" x 4" x 4" pan.

11.  Cover the loaf and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until puffy and risen to roughly 1" from the top of the pan.

12.  Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

13.  To bake the bread: Brush the loaf with the egg/water (egg wash) and sprinkle with the sparkling sugar or pearl sugar.

14.  Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until it's firm on top and a digital thermometer inserted into the center reads at least 190°F.

15.  Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it briefly in the pan, just until you can transfer it safely to a rack to cool completely.

16.  Storage information: Store leftover bread, well wrapped, at cool room temperature for 5 to 7 days; freeze for longer storage.


This year’s celebration is hosted by Zorra at 1xUmruhren Bitte aka Kochtopf.  I’m looking forward to seeing all the other breads that were baked and submitted.