Judy from Gross Eats is our Kitchen of the Month for October. This was a most interesting bake!
I was excited to try this one because 1.) I have baked many of Beth Hensperger’s recipes from this book and her other books and always enjoyed them, 2.) the seasonal timing appealed and 3.) because of the ingredient combo.
I was delighted to try something pumpkin right now and I really liked the rye and cornmeal combo.
Of course I added that little bit of flax. I also had a large bag of pepitas on the counter and they seemed super appropriate. Of course pumpkin just pretty much begged for cinnamon in my book. I used a combo of flours replacing the original bread or all purpose flour.
The dough was silky and lovely to knead.
If I weren’t already in the process of perfecting another recipe (for a rye) bread, I would take this one on because it has so much promise but ultimately both Gorn & I were slightly disappointed with this bake. We enjoyed the texture and the crust on this loaf but even using terrific flavor ingredients (strong molasses, great flour, cinnamon, pumpkin) we both of us failed to get much flavor from a slice. We both agreed a slice has a lovely pumpkin aroma. We just didn’t get it on the tongue.
I would recommend using more pumpkin (reduce or even entirely replace the water) and going with more cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice.
I did half the recipe and baked in a smaller pullman pan without the lid.
Recipe From Judy(Gross Eats) adapted from Bread for All Seasons by Beth Hensperger
Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread
HALF RECIPE what I baked
1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
123 grams warm water (105˚ to 115˚)
124 grams warm buttermilk (105˚ to 115˚)
40 grams melted butter or oil
50 grams light molasses
1/4 cup pumpkin purée (either canned or homemade)
1 teaspoon salt
100 grams fine- or medium-grind yellow cornmeal
130 grams medium rye flour
124 grams Hovis flour, because I had it
130 grams sprouted wheat flour
140 grams white whole wheat flour
20 grams flax meal
1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, ground flax, salt, cornmeal, and rye flour. Whisk to mix well.
Add warm water, buttermilk, melted butter/oil, molasses, and pumpkin purée. Beat until smooth (1 to 2 minutes) using either a whisk or the paddle attachment on a mixer.
Add the unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour, ½ cup at a time, until it becomes a soft dough. Knead until smooth and slightly tacky, either by hand or with a dough hook.
2. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until double, about 1 ½ to 2 hours, depending on how warm it is.
3. Turn onto work surface and divide the dough into 2 or 3 equal round portions. Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.
4. To make dinner rolls, divide the dough into 24 equal portions and shape as desired.
Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 20 minutes, or place in refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight.
Twenty minutes before baking, heat the oven to 375˚, using a baking stone, if you wish. While the oven is heating, brush the tops with melted butter.
Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown: 40-45 minutes for loaves or 15 to 18 minutes for rolls. Remove from oven, let cool on rack until completely cool.
Since this was all whole grain, I baked this at 370° F (convection) for 50 minutes at which point it registered 199°F internal temperature. It was baked through and not raw as can easily happen with all whole grains when I don’t check temperature of the bread.
Here’s hoping you’re all in the mood for some fall baking, and you give this delicious bread a try. If you do decide to be a Buddy, please send your baking story and photos to Judy at jahunt22 dot gmail dot com by October 29th, and they will be included in the Buddy Roundup.
PS: Well now we’ve enjoyed this as our afternoon treat with apple butter! Somehow that brings out the pumpkin in the bread for me.