The only thing more fashionable in fall than Pumpkin-Spice everything is hating on Pumpkin-Spice everything. How can you be so mad at cloves? I understand the instinct to push back on the attempt to pumpkin spice everything, but only because lost in the process is transposition of the associating the flavors of that latte with actual pumpkin.
I like pumpkin spice (when used appropriately), but I love pumpkin. This year we grew pumpkin and realized that pumpkins are the jerks of the garden. They take over everything, pull plants down, and don’t fruit until they spread over your entire yard. The pumpkins we got did not make up for the garden and yard space we lost, but I can’t hold a grudge against a vegetable. That is a sign of mental decay. The best way to get revenge is to use them well.
This bread is not the cake disguised as bread which you may see throughout the fall. Anybody worth a tub of cream cheese frosting knows that cake is delicious, but it is cake. This is bread. I wanted the bread to use the sweetness of the pumpkin as an accent, not as a feature. I also had just picked up a load of baking supplies. I have loved mixing rye and pumpkin for awhile. I love the combination and have lots of pumpkin things and lots of rye things. Additionally, I have been talking to a cook for whom I have the maximum amount of respect about the greatness of dense Danish Rye.
The questions for me was how to incorporate roasted pumpkin into bread. With bread being a relatively elemental combination of solids and water, I tested the water content of pumpkin and found pumpkin roasted is still about 75% water. I assumed the 25% solids were starchy and broke the weight of pumpkin to formulate the bread.
The rye team consisted of a rye starter, rye flour, rye bran, rye berries and rye flakes. The pumpkin team consisted of roasted pumpkin, roasted pumpkin seeds and the only palatable pumpkin beer I have tasted in awhile, New Glarus Pumpkin Pie Lust. Not that ‘palatable’ is a huge compliment, but it is a beer I’d drink on purpose and it fit the pumpkin theme. Toasted black sesame seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds were also added.
After baking and cooling, I sliced the bread. The bread has a less dense texture than other rugbrøds I’ve baked, primarily because when I added the pumpkin, I offset the mass of the solids in the pumpkin from the mass typically made from seeds. One of my favorite parts of the rugbrød-style breads from Tartine 3.0 is the texture – with the nuts, seeds, and berries in such a dense loaf. Reducing the seeds in place of pumpkin did not take away from the great texture, eventhough it tweaked it slightly. Rye and pumpkin flavors are soft in the bread and the toasted sesame flavors are forward. Slathered with butter, it is a delicious slice of bread, and works even better sliced thin and crisped a cracker.
The flavors might never make oreo filling or a latte, but are delicious nonetheless. People can enjoy those and this.
Based on the Rene’s style loaves in Tartine 3.0155 grams rye starter 13 grams water 68 grams pumpkin beer 90 grams buttermilk 300 grams roasted and pureed pumpkin 250 grams rye flour 20 grams salt 25 grams flax seeds 30 grams sunflower seeds 50 grams toasted black sesame seeds 100 grams toasted pumpkin seeds 175 grams sprouted rye berries 20 grams rye flakes 10 grams rye bran butter
Step one: Add the first set of ingredients and mix until they are consistent.
Step two: Add rye flour and mix until consistent. Wait for 20-30 minutes.
Step three: Add salt and seeds and rye berries and mix until consistent. For three hours, fold the batter/dough to develop strength. For you and for the bread. I use a plastic bench scraper.
Step four: Grease a loaf pan with butter then dust with rye bran. Scoop dough into pan and cover with rye flakes. Cover loaf pan with a towel. If cooking on the same day, let rise again for 3-4 hours. If letting rest overnight, place in fridge.
Step five: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mist the loaf with water and bake for 80-90 minutes.
Step six: When the loaf is done, remove it from the loaf pan and let cool for 6-8 hours.
Step seven: Eat. Don’t skimp on that butter.