Pumpkin Rye Bread

Two of my favorite breads have been marbled together to create a crusty, flavorful symbol of autumn harvest. This loaf could be:

  • The focus of a charcuterie board.
  • A Thanksgiving centerpiece.
  • The foundation for the best turkey or grilled cheese sandwich ever.
  • A Halloween masterpiece. (Add a little orange and black food coloring.)

I actually made two versions—this, and one using sourdough. I loved the chewy texture of the sourdough loaf, but I can only put one recipe in a blog, and this one was quicker to make. (You’re welcome!) I will, however, post the sourdough recipe too in a few days. Check back!

It takes a little more effort to make this than a normal loaf of bread, because you will have to knead the orange half by hand. (The rye half can be kneaded by machine if you wish.) But there is nothing hard about this at all.

 

Pumpkin Rye Bread
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Ingredients
  • 1½ cups very warm water (about 120 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 package active-dry yeast
  • ½ cup solid pack pumpkin
  • 4 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed (more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • Optional: 1 egg white whisked with 1 teaspoon water and flaked rye (or oatmeal)
  • Food coloring - orange and black to create Halloween colors
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine very warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit until bubbles begin to form - about 5 minutes.
  2. Add pumpkin, 3 cups of bread flour, and salt. Mix until completely combined. Mixture will be a heavy batter.
  3. Spread the remaining 1 cup of bread flour on work surface and drop half (about 1½ cups or 1 pound) dough on the flour. Sprinkle some of the flour on top of the dough and knead until just slightly sticky - about 5 minutes. It's very soft to begin with; use a dough scraper if necessary. Form kneaded dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Leave any leftover flour on work surface.
  4. The remaining dough in the bowl will be your brown rye bread. To knead by hand, stir in caraway seeds, molasses, cocoa, and espresso powder,. Push bread flour aside and place 1 cup rye flour on the work surface, then drop the dough onto the top and knead as you did the orange dough. If more flour is needed, don't add more rye - use bread flour. (If kneading by machine, simply add the remaining ingredients to the dough and switch to a dough hook and knead for 5 minutes.) Form a ball and place it into the bowl next to the orange dough.
  5. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  6. On floured surface, press or roll the rye dough into a rectangle approximately 12 inches long, with the width a little shorter than the length of your bread pan. Repeat with the orange dough. Place orange dough on top of brown dough. (It doesn't have to fit perfectly.)
  7. Fold the bottom third up and then the top third down over the bottom third. Pinch edges closed. Using the edges of your hands, gently tuck the dough under all the way around, several times until you achieve a smooth loaf. If the orange dough shows through the top a little, that's fine.
  8. Place in prepared loaf pan, cover with a cloth or plastic wrap, and let rise until double - about 1 hour.
  9. Heat oven to 375 F and lightly grease a large loaf pan. (I like to spray with a flour/oil spray like Baker's Joy.)
  10. If desired, brush the top of the loaf with egg white wash and sprinkle with flaked rye (or oats). Make several slits diagonally or straight across the top using a sharp knife, razor, or scissors.
  11. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until light brown. When released from the pan the bottom should sound hollow when tapped. .
  12. For best results, let the bread cool before cutting.

 

Combine water, sugar, yeast, and let it sit until you see a few small bubbles forming (about 5 minutes).

Add flour, pumpkin (sheesh, that looks RED!) and salt. Mix well. It will be more like a heavy batter than a dough.

Place half the dough on top of 1 cup flour on work surface. Knead for about 5 minutes. You probably won’t need all the flour, but that will depend on if you divided the dough evenly. If it isn’t sticking to your hands, it has enough flour!

Form into a ball and place in greased bowl.

To the remaining half add molasses, cocoa, espresso powder, and caraway seeds. If using the machine to knead, add rye flour. If kneading by hand, don’t add the flour yet. Dump the wet dough onto a cup of rye flour. Knead well and form into a ball.

Snuggle them up, cover with a cloth or plastic wrap, and let them rise.

The orange dough is softer and will rise a little more. That’s okay!

Press or roll each ball into a rectangle about 12 inches long and not quite as wide as the length of your pan. Lay orange dough on brown.

Flip bottom third up, then top third down over the bottom third.

Pinch it all the way around the edges.

Use the sides of your hands to gently tuck the bread under ALL the way around until you have a smooth loaf. Place it in the pan to rise until doubled.

Once it has risen, you can brush the top with an egg wash and sprinkle with flaked rye if you’d like.

Snip! Snip! Cut a few slits in the top, straight or diagonal, with a sharp instrument of choice.

Put down that butter! Try to restrain yourself (I know it’s hard) and wait until it’s cooled off to cut it, otherwise you’ll let out all that important steam. Warm is okay.

This is going to be a fall tradition around here from now on. Hope you and yours enjoy it too!

Lorinda

4 thoughts on “Pumpkin Rye Bread

  1. This is so pretty! And so clever! The photos are lovely, and the idea of a grilled cheese and turkey sandwich sounds really good. I am not a fan of rye, so I might try this by just using the pumpkin part of the recipe.

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