Picture this. It’s a lovely fall morning, perfect for staying indoors and baking. Even better, for baking pumpkin bread that fills the house with the aromas of cinnamon and warm spices. Everything was in place until there was a knock at the door. Who was it? It was that familiar girl Carmen karma, coming to pay another visit.
I opened my laptop to find Jessica’s recipe that looked like heaven, only to be stuck in hell with a crashed computer, for the second time in a month. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t a serious problem. However, I would like to be able to settle on a laptop and move on.
At least the bread turned out. As in, it was really good. When I started to make the recipe and it turned out that I didn’t actually have whole wheat flour, I thought karma was winning. But I did have whole wheat graham flour, and I’m glad I used it. I think its flavor really came through the next day when the bread was toasted. I topped it with a little butter-like spread and agave nectar, and ate it for breakfast all week. So there, karma.
Pumpkin English Muffin Break
Makes 2 8×4-inch loaves
2 cups warm milk
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
a pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup canned pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup warm water
cornmeal for loaf pans
Grease or spray two 8×4 loaf pans with non-stick spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.
In a glass measuring cup, warm the milk in one-minute intervals until warm (105-115 degrees). Add the yeast and honey and stir to combine. Set aside for about five minutes and allow to proof. Within a few minutes, the mixture will begin to bubble and foam.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the whole wheat pastry flour through the baking soda and stir together. Add the yeast mixture and remaining ingredients and stir until you get a shaggy mess. Switch to the beater attachment and mix until everything comes together. Do not over-mix and do not knead. The dough will be sticky, so don’t be tempted to add more flour. Divide the batter equally into two loaf pans and sprinkle the tops lightly with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
After the dough has been rising about 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves 30-35 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about five minutes, then remove from the pans to a cooling rack to cool.
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is