Good recipes for Pumpkin Bread are abundant--I personally favor the ones with chocolate chips--but few are yeast breads. This Pumpkin Bread is suitable for turkey sandwiches--put some cranberry sauce on it and you have Thanksgiving anytime!
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or other nut or vegetable oil)
1 cup pumpkin puree or mashed sweet potato
2 to 2 1/2 cups each whole wheat and white flour
2 tablespoons gluten (optional)
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts (optional)
1/2 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
Mix water and yeast in a large bowl. Add brown sugar, salt, nutmeg and oil. Warm pumpkin puree to at least room temperature if not a bit warmer. Add to bowl and stir well. Mix in half the flour and the ground hazelnuts, if using, then knead in more flour to achieve a smooth, elastic dough. Finally, knead in the chopped hazel nuts until they are thoroughly incorporated. Cover bowl and set aside to rise. When doubled in bulk, punch down and shape into loaves. Place into greased loaf pans and allow to rise a second time. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes for regular loaves, 45 minutes if the loaves are large size or 30 minutes if they are mini loaves. Remove from oven and pans and brush tops with butter if desired (this will make the crust less crusty).
Hints: I used canned pumpkin for this recipe but you could make your own puree if you have pumpkins. That may require a bit less water--see how wet your puree is and if it is wetter than canned, use less water for the yeast. When I use sweet potato, I bake it, then mash it. I add the gluten to help the rise of the whole wheat but you can leave it out if you want and you could use all white flour, too. The hazelnuts are great but walnuts or pecans would work fine. Or go nut free. Grating nutmeg is so easy with a micro planer and the whole nutmeg pods stay potent longer than ground nutmeg. If you don't like nutmeg, use rosemary or ginger instead.
So what will I do with this bread? Make turkey or egg salad sandwiches, make killer french toast (ooooh! with warm maple syrup!), cube it for dipping in Swiss cheese fondue, or toast it and spread it with Nutella. I gave a loaf to Sophie and she is going to make a caramel apple bread pudding with hers. I think I am going to stop by her place around dessert time tomorrow... just to say hi. Note: Sophie did make it and it was fabulous. Click here for that recipe--you'll be glad you did!