This lovely pumpkin boule is a great loaf for gifting or for setting out as an eye-catching centerpiece at brunch. We recommend eating this bread either plain or spread with salted butter that’s been mixed with cinnamon, cardamom, and honey.
360 grams King Arthur Bread bread flour
40 grams whole wheat flour
280 grams water
80 grams mature levain
106 grams pumpkin puree (see note, below)
8 grams salt
Other equipment: Kitchen twine
In a medium bowl, mix the flours and water together by hand until no dry flour or lumps remain. Cover loosely and set aside at room temperature for two hours. By the end of autolyse, you should be able to pull a beautiful windowpane from your dough. Mix
Add the levain, pumpkin puree, and salt to the dough and mix them in until the dough is completely homogenous and smooth. Be patient with this step, as the pumpkin won’t want to incorporate into the dough at first and will make the dough feel very wet, but it will come together after a couple of minutes of mixing. You’ll likely need to mix in a couple of sessions with ten minutes between each session. Bulk
Move the dough to a clean bowl, cover loosely, and let rest for 4 hours or until well-proofed. During the first hour, give your dough three strong stretch and folds with 20 minutes between each, starting 20 minutes after bulk begins. After the second hour of bulk is complete, perform one gentle coil fold, and then let it rest undisturbed for the remainder of bulk. Pumpkin ferments beautifully, so keep an eye on the dough towards the end of bulk, as fermentation may move more quickly than you’re used to. Once the dough is adequately proofed, gently dump it onto a lightly floured bench for shaping. Prep your banneton
While the dough bulks, cut four or six lengths of kitchen twine long enough so that they will overhang your round banneton by a few inches once you lay them into it. Line the banneton with a tea towel or other liner. Imagine your banneton is a clock and lay your first piece of twine in so that it runs from 12:00 to 6:00. Lay the second piece in so it runs from 9:00 to 3:00. Make sure the two pieces of twine intersect at the center of the banneton. At this point, the twine will have divided your banneton into four equal quadrants; lay the remaining pieces in however you’d like (evenly spaced, or not, depending on how you’d like your pumpkin’s lines to look), making sure that they are all intersecting in the same central point where the first two pieces crossed. Once this is complete, dust the banneton and twine liberally with rice flour and set aside until bulk is finished. Shape
Gently shape your dough into a boule and place into the prepped banneton, seam side up. Tie the loaf Carefully grab the ends of one piece of twine and pull them to meet at the middle of the loaf and tie them together. Repeat this with each piece of twine until each piece is tied, then cut off any excess twine hanging from the knots. Proper tension is key here: you want the twine to press lightly yet firmly into the sides of the loaf, but make sure they aren’t pressing so far in that they will end up buried deeply in the loaf during baking. Cold proof
Move your loaf to the refrigerator and let it rest, uncovered, overnight.
The next morning, place your Challenger Bread Pan in the oven and preheat it at 450°F / 230°C for one hour. Once the pan is fully preheated, place the pumpkin loaf into the pan. You can score the loaf decoratively, if you’d like, but the loaf will be beautiful if left unscored, too. Place the lid over the loaf and bake for 26 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 12 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool until it’s not too hot to handle. Remove Twine
Flip the loaf over and, using a pair of kitchen shears, snip each piece of twine. Gently remove the twine from the loaf, then set the loaf aside to finish cooling.
Nicole Muvundamina is a freelance baking instructor and recipe developer specializing in sourdough and freshly milled whole grain baking. Armed with a tabletop stone mill and a pantry overflowing with grains, she is on a mission to introduce people to the fantastic flavors and characteristics that come along with fresh, whole flour. To see what grain-based tomfoolery she is getting herself into each day, follow her on instagram at @nmuvu.
Special equipment: To create the pumpkin shape, you will need kitchen twine. Make sure you have some on hand before beginning!
Pumpkin puree: You can make your own pumpkin puree, or use canned, as we’ve done here. If using canned, we recommend cooking on the stovetop for a few minutes to remove any excess liquid and concentrate the flavor.
Keywords: holiday, bread, boule