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Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Wait, what?  How is it November already?  And how have I not made anything with pumpkin until now?

Well, look out, folks, because I’m about to go bananas with pumpkin.  (oh, huh..there’s an idea!)  FYI: pumpkin pie is NOT in the forecast.

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Yeast Bread

First up is pumpkin bread.  Sure, when people hear “pumpkin bread” they think of a quick bread, myself included.  While I do love me some of that, I was super intrigued when I found a couple recipes for pumpkin yeast bread at King Arthur Flour.  My yeast bread-baking experience is pretty limited.  In fact, I had only made one recipe twice (it’s awesome!) before this one, so I’ve been wanting to expand my horizons in the Land o’ Carbs. 

Of course, I couldn’t just make pumpkin bread, though.  Many years ago, my dad went through a bread baking phase, much to the delight of the rest of my family.  While he didn’t make a bread I didn’t like, my absolute favorite was the cinnamon swirl.  Store-bought cinnamon bread is already pretty good, but homemade is pretty amazing.  With that memory permanently etched into my brain, of course I thought adding a cinnamon swirl to pumpkin bread was a good idea. Duh…

kneaded dough

Can I just say that this was my first time making bread without a mixer?  My roommates have a ~professional~ KitchenAid (ah, the perks of getting hitched) which I used for my previous bread-making ventures, but this time I decided to use elbow grease.  My arms…they are sore because I am a WIMP.  By the way, if you don’t use a mixer and are slow like me, I don’t recommend starting this bread at lunch time before you’ve eaten lunch.

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Yeast Bread
bread (halved) and filling from King Arthur Flour

Even though this bread has pumpkin in it, it doesn’t taste pumpkin-y.  The pumpkin adds a nice yellow-orange color, and of course some moistness to the bread.  If you want to up the spice amounts, go ahead!  I couldn’t detect the ginger or cardamom, but maybe that’s because of the cinnamon in the filling.

Also, about the yeast: the KAF folks say to use 1 packet or 1 tablespoon of yeast, but the two brands of yeast that I had said there were 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast in them.  I don’t really know much about yeast and how much of a difference 3/4 teaspoon makes, but just went with a packet and my bread turned out fine!

1/4 cup warm water
1 package (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast (see note above)
1/3 cup warm milk
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup puréed pumpkin, either fresh or canned
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 1/4 cups (approximately…probably more) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Filling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I used 1 tsp. Vietnamese cinnamon..oh la la!)
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, to brush on dough

Pour the warm water into a large bowl and mix in the yeast.  Add the milk, egg, pumpkin, oil, 2 cups of the flour, brown sugar, salt, ginger, and cardamom.  Stir vigorously for about two minutes.

ingredients mixing dough

Add the remaining flour a little bit at a time and stir the mixture until it becomes sturdy enough to knead.  On a floured surface, knead the dough until it becomes “smooth and elastic”.  Not exactly sure what this meant, I went by the windowpane test and ended up having to add a bit more flour than the recipe called for.

before first rise after first rise

Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, and turn the dough over to lightly coat in oil.  Cover with a towel and let rise until it has doubled (about an hour).  Before the dough has finished rising, prepare the filling by combining the sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a small bowl.

brushing on egg/water mixture rolling up the dough

After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly oiled surface and gently press it into a rectangle (about 6″x20″).  Brush the top of the dough with the egg/water mixture (you won’t use it all…just enough to moisten the dough), then sprinkle all of the dry ingredients evenly over the dough.  Starting from one short end, roll the dough into a log.  Pinch the ends to seal them off, then pinch the long seam closed.  In a well-greased 10″ x 5″ loaf pan, place the log seam side down.  Cover with a towel and let rise for another 45 minutes, or until almost doubled.

before second rise after second rise

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Bake the bread for about 30 minutes.  To check the internal temperature for doneness, an instant-read thermometer should register 190F.

Immediately turn bread out onto a cooling rack so that it doesn’t become soggy.  Let cool completely before cutting.  It will be torturous, but you don’t want all the filling to just drip out, do you?

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Yeast Bread

As with any yeast bread, this is best on the first day.  In fact, the swirls weren’t separated as much yesterday, but I ran out of daylight and had to take photos today. Since then, it’s been sliced and stored in a large ziploc bag in the freezer with plans for some awesome cinnamon toast.  :)

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