Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pumpkin Fennel Bread


I never liked the taste of canned pumpkin and lost years of eating pumpkin flavored foods because of it. Learning how to make fresh roasted pumpkin puree fresh opened me up to a whole new world of flavor and recipe ideas.

Now, as soon as those little pie pumpkins start popping up in early fall, I buy a few, roast them and start stockpiling the puree for seasonal recipes.


Of course, if you have canned on hand, go ahead and use it in this recipe. It makes this simple recipe even easier and faster. Go for it. 

This is the most unfussy, easiest bread I have ever made. There was no sacrifice on flavor here and it's a great way to impress your guests with seasonal homemade bread on your holiday table. 

The recipe has a two-hour resting time in one-hour intervals. I found easy to accommodate while multi-tasking other recipes. Two things I highly recommend for pulling off holiday meals, one is planning the timing of recipes, using the down time in completing them to start or complete others. The second thing is using make ahead recipes. The latter makes the day of the celebration so much less stressful. 



This pumpkin fennel bread is flavorful, fluffy and a bit chewy. Personally, I prefer my breads a bit chewy.I baked the loaf for 45 minutes. Leave it in 5-10 minutes longer if you like a less dense texture. 


There is only a hint of pumpkin and fennel flavor but it's enough to make this bread differently delicious.
Pumpkin Fennel Bread
Prep time: 15 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Bake time: 45 minutes
Yield: 1 medium sized loaf

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Pumpkin puree (preferably fresh. See recipe below)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 egg

Directions:
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, 1+1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons of the fennel seeds and yeast.
  • Add the water and pumpkin puree and knead together.
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough stand for 1 hour
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough again briefly.
  • Form the dough into a loaf and transfer to the prepared baking sheet and let stand another hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Beat the egg and use a pastry brush to cover the dough with an egg wash.
  • Use a sharp knife to make 4 slits in the tops of the dough. 
  • Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of fennel seeds over the top of the bread.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes

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