I’m so happy to be hosting this round of Tuesdays with Dorie, and no, that doesn’t mean I’m having everyone over to my house! It means I get to post the recipe, which appears at the end of this entry. Thank you for the opportunity, Laurie and Jules!
Although this recipe took about eighteen hours to make, it was worth it. I started referring to it as my third child because I put so much care into it, making sure to measure exactly, knead lovingly and time correctly. I even had to take this little baby, still in dough form, to my parents’ house so it could finish its second rise. (My parents weren’t nearly as excited to see their bread child as they were to see their grandchildren.)
The process itself wasn’t too difficult. It was just time-consuming. First came finding the ingredients. You would think it would be easy to find cranberries this time of year, but I think we were just a little too early. I did finally find some cranberries at Dominicks in the frozen food section, and I looked everywhere for mini loaf pans, finally settling on some disposable foil ones.
I started baking at 8:00 on Friday evening, and the dough was all mixed up by 9:15. After waiting until 11:15 for the first rise, the dough went into the refrigerator for a good night’s rest.
I took it out the next morning around 9:00, and brought it to my parents’ house. When we arrived around 1:00, I formed it into loaves, covered it, and awaited the second rise.
At 4:00, I put it in Mom’s oven for 35 minutes. This was the best part because it made the entire house smell like pumpkin pie and bread.
We served the bread with a delicious dinner of grilled turkey breast, pasta salad, local corn, and caprese salad made with homemade mozzarella. I love coming home for dinner with the family. And did I mention it was a birthday celebration for my sister and me? Double fun!
The verdict: I enjoyed the texture of the bread; it was light and soft, but the cranberries were really sour. If I made it again, and I probably will, I might use dried cranberries instead. I brought a loaf of it to my in-laws the next day with some apple butter from my Foodie Penpal, and it was delicious! The sweet apple butter relieved some of the tartness of the berries.
Thanks for reading!
Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaves
Makes 3 Small Loaves
- 2 2/3 to 3 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tepid water (80 F to 90 F)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 8 ounces (1 cup) pureed cooked pumpkin or butternut squash, fresh or canned solid packed (see note)
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 1 cup plump golden raisins
- 2/3 cup cranberries (if frozen, thaw and pat dry)
Mixing and Kneading
Whisk 2 2/3 cups of the flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl just to mix; set aside until needed.
Pour the water into a small bowl, sprinkle in the yeast, and whisk to blend. Allow the yeast to rest until it’s creamy, about 5 minutes.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add the pumpkin and egg and beat until blended. Don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled; it will come together when you add the dry ingredients.
Set the mixer speed to low and add the yeast, then begin to add the dry ingredients, about 1/2 cup at a time. As soon as the mixture starts to form a dough that comes together, scrape the paddle clean and switch to the dough hook. If your dough does not come together (it might be because your pumpkin puree was liquidy), add a few more tablespoons of flour.
Mix and knead the dough on medium-low speed for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl and the hook now and then with a rubber spatula. At the start, the mixture will look more like a batter than a dough, but as you continue to work, it will develop into a soft, very sticky dough that will just ball up on the hook. (This dough develops much the way a brioche does.)
With the machine on low speed, add the walnuts and raisins, mixing only until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the cranberries and mix as little as possible to avoid crushing them. (Inevitably some cranberries will pop and stain a patch of dough red; think of this as charming, and proceed.)
Scrape the dough into a lightly buttered large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature to rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Chilling the Dough
When the dough has doubled, fold it over on itself a couple of times to deflate it, wrap it tightly in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
Shaping the Dough
At least 6 hours before you want to begin baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Leave the dough, covered in its bowl, until it reaches at least 64 F on an instant read thermometer. (This will take as long as 3 to 4 hours–don’t rush it.) If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, look for the dough to be slightly cool and just a little spongy.
Lightly butter three 5 3/4- by 3 1/4- by 2-inch loaf pans.
Working on a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into thirds and pat each piece of dough into a 5-by 7-inch rectangle; keep a short end facing you. Starting at the top of each rectangle, roll up the dough toward you and seal the seam by pressing it with your fingertips. Seal the ends, then place each roll, seam side down, in a prepared pan.
Cover the pans lightly with a kitchen towel and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough has nearly doubled–it will rise to just above the rim of the pans.
Baking the Bread
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bake the loaves for about 35 minutes, or until deeply golden. Remove the pans to a cooling rack; after a 5-minute rest, turn the breads out of their pans and allow them to cool to room temperature on the rack.
The breads can be kept at room temperature for a day or two or frozen, wrapped airtight, for up to 1 month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.
To use fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, split the squash, remove the seeds, and place, cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast in a preheated 350 F oven for about 1 hour, or until meltingly tender. Scoop the softened pulp out of the shell and cool completely. One pound of squash yields about 12 ounces of cooked pulp.
Contributing Baker Steve Sullivan
from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. P 108-109. 1996.