It is getting to be that time of year.
You know – when there is pumpkin everything, everywhere you look!
I confess, I don’t really “get” pumpkin coffee drinks at all – I guess probably because I’m not particularly fond of sweet coffee, unless it also involves chocolate. But, pumpkin everything else, I am very much okay with.
Our own pumpkins did well this year – we have quite a nice number of lovely little pie pumpkins to use this fall. This bread is only the beginning.
I’m trying to get some potential holiday recipes up a little early this year, because that way we can all plan what to bake, serve, and most importantly – eat when we are hosting get-togethers over the next few months. I highly recommend this bread. Not only is it fantastic, but it’s also super easy to get made, with no kneading at all.
I like to soak the raisins for awhile, which also gets the milk to a good temperature for the yeast. I used bread flour, because it gives this bread plenty of structure without kneading, but regular flour is nearly as good.
A 10 cup or bigger bundt pan is really nice for this, but you can use whatever you prefer. It is too much dough for a single 9 x 5 loaf, but a 9 x 5 plus a couple of mini bread pans, an angel food cake pan or a big spring form pan will all work, with just a bit of adjustment on the baking time.
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup dark raisins
- 1 cup fresh or canned cooked pumpkin
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 packet fast acting yeast
- 4 cups bread flour, divided
- 1 & ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Very generously butter a 10 cup or larger bundt pan, and sprinkle liberally with raw or coarse sugar, tilting pan all around to coat evenly, tapping out any excess - set aside.
- Heat the milk in a sauce pan, or in the microwave, until just under a simmer - small bubbles will be visible around the edge.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the raisins and let sit for about 20 minutes to soften them.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the pumpkin, honey and egg,
- Beat in the raising mixture and the yeast.
- Measure in 2 cups of the flour, the spices and the salt, and beat until very well incorporated.
- If using a stand mixer, switch to the kneading hook.
- Mix in the last two cups of flour, ½ cup at a time, allowing it become fully incorporated before the next addition.
- If mixing by hand, mix for a couple minutes, until you have a fairly smooth batter - in a stand mixer this will take about a minute.
- Leave the dough right in the bowl, remove the dough hook, and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap, pressing on the surface of the dough.
- Allow to raise for 1 hour.
- Use a couple of soup spoons, or rubber scrapers to distribute the dough around the pan evenly - just doing this will deflate it enough for the second rise.
- Wet your fingers, and smooth over the top of the dough. Give it a few firm taps on the counter to eliminate air pockets.
- Allow it to rise for about another hour, or until it is doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is very nicely browned, and it sounds hollow when tapped. The internal temperature [my favorite way to test bread for doneness] should be 195º-200º.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan. Loosen the edges gently with a table knife, and remove from the pan. Cool further on a wire rack.
- Great toasted, with cinnamon honey butter [4 tablespoon soft butter, 1 tablespoon honey, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon - stir to blend], and it makes pretty amazing french toast a few days later. Once completely cool, wrap leftovers tightly, and refrigerate if keeping more than a few days. freezes quite well.
You will be able to satisfy quite a few people with one of these on the breakfast table. It would make a pretty tasty midnight snack too!
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