Sourdough Pumpkin Swirl Bread
As promised, I am going to show how my Pumpkin Swirl Bread turned out…rather didn’t turn out. Despite the picture shown in the book, I did not understand the directions and went off on my own whim. The bread turned out okay but there were some things that I flat did not understand. As you read the recipe, you will probably get something I didn’t.
I did the Starter and it went very well. If it hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had a clue since it’s been years and years since I have made it. So I went about my happy baking clueless to any failure that might occur. Since I felt like I had done well with the starter I started in on the recipe. I did the mixing and then put the ingredients.
The trouble occurred for me after I followed the rolling out instructions. I looked at the book and just couldn’t understand how you could get rolls from rolling the dough from both ends to meet in the middle and then cut it with scissors. I know it’s hard to visualize while reading. Hey, I had the silly picture in front of me and still did not understand how this was going to work.
So I rolled up the dough from both ends to the middle like the picture showed. It would look like two jelly rolls side by side, if that helps you any. Then I decided that the instructions were beyond me and I cut right down the middle and then made cuts one inch apart to make individual rolls, which is not what I think the author intended but I needed just one more picture to explain it to me and it just flat wasn’t there. So, hence the rolls were a bit drier than they might have been if I had understood and followed the instructions. So here we go:
Sourdough Pumpkin Swirl Bread
Makes 1 loaf (or lots of rolls if you don’t follow the directions)
For the Sponge
½ cup sourdough starter (see the post before this one)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup warm water (105-115 F)
For the Dough
½ cup warm milk (105-115F)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
2 ½-3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
For the Filling
1 cup unsweetened canned pureed pumpkin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
For the Icing
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temp.
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2-4 TBS milk
At least 12 hours in advance, combine the starter, flour, water and sugar in a large glass or pottery bowl and mix well. The sponge will have the consistency of caked batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let ripen for at least 12 hours and not more 36 hours.
When ready to make the dough, add the milk, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and 1 cup of flour to the sponge. Beat vigorously with a dough whisk or heavy-handled spoon for 2 minutes.
Gradually add more of the remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough forms a mass and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
Knead, adding more flour, a little at a time as necessary for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic and blisters begin to develop on the surface.
Break off 1/3 of the dough and set aside for the filling. Form the remaining dough into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl. Turn to coast the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours.
For the filling, add the pumpkin, cinnamon, pecans and brown sugar to the smaller piece of dough. Using your hands, a food processor, or a pastry blender, mix the ingredients with the dough until well combined. This is a messy step. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.
When the plain dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it into an 11X20 inch rectangle. Spread the pumpkin mixture evenly over the rectangle. Roll one of the shorter edges to the center. Roll the dough from the other short edge to the center. Carefully lift the dough and put it on the parchment-lined or a well-greased baking sheet.
Using long-bladed scissors make cuts along one side of the dough to the center, about 1 inch part, cutting almost all the way to the center. Repeat on the other side. Turn the cut pieces on their sides with the cut side facing up. The cut pieces can be turned in the same direction or turned in alternating directions.
Cover the dough with a towel and let rise for about 1 ½ hours, or until almost doubled in size.
About 15 minutes before the end of the rising, preheat the oven to 375.
Bake the bread for 25-40 minutes, or until golden brown (the internal temperature should be 190F). Remove from the baking sheet and let sit for 20 minutes on a rack.
For the icing, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar with enough milk to make a spreadable icing. Spread over top of the warm bread.
NOTE: After baking this and re-reading the book several times I know how this is supposed to turn out. It’s supposed to bake a giant loaf, but spread out flattish by cutting the slits in the dough and then pushing them a bit, one against the other. Despite not understand the final instructions, I think my little rolls turned out well. Everyone at worked liked them (except for those who don’t like nuts). I had fun playing with the starter and doing the whole process. I will make this a second time, only following the instructions.