Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg, authors of Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, share the story behind their love for baking nutritious and delicious breads, and a recipe for pumpkin pie bread that takes just five minutes of active preparation time.
Pumpkin Pie Bread
Ingredient Volume (U.S)/weight (U.S.)/weight (metric)
- All-purpose flour 7 cups/ 2 pounds, 3 ounces/ 990 grams
- Granulated yeast 1 tablespoon/ 0.35 ounces/ 10 grams
- Kosher salt 1 tablespoon/ 0.6 ounce/ 17 grams
- Pumpkin pie spice 1½ tablespoons
- Lukewarm water (100°F or below) 1 cup/ 8 ounces/ 195 grams
- Honey ½ cup/ 6 ounces/ 170 grams
- Vegetable oil ½ cup/ 3½ ounces/ 98 grams
- Pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
- Canned pumpkin puree or a “pie” pumpkin for roasting 1¾ cups/ 15 ounces/ 425 grams
- Egg yolk wash (1 yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water), for brushing the loaf
- If making your own fresh pumpkin puree: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Split the “pie” pumpkin in half, starting at the stem, and place it cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with foil or a silicone mat. Bake for 45 minutes. The pumpkin should be very soft all the way through when poked with a knife. Allow to cool slightly before scooping out the seeds.
- Scoop out the roasted flesh of the pumpkin and puree it in the food processor. Set aside 1¾ cups (15 ounces) for the dough and use any leftover in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.
- Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and spices in a 5-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
- Combine the liquid ingredients with the pumpkin puree and mix them with the dry ingredients without kneading, using a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle), Danish dough whisk, or spoon. You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine.
- The dough will be loose, but it will firm up when chilled. Don’t try to use it without chilling for at least 3 hours.
- Cover (not airtight), allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, and then refrigerate.
- The dough can be used as soon as it’s thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours. Refrigerate the container and use over the next 5 days. To freeze dough, see page 42.
- On baking day, grease a brioche pan or an 8½ x 4½-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece of dough. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. Place the ball in the prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
- Just before baking, brush the loaf ’s top with egg yolk wash.
- Bake for about 50 minutes. The loaf is done when it is caramel brown and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.
- Remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.