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  • Writer's pictureJenya

The Battle of the Pumpkin Loaves: Part 1

Find out how to make a Pumpkin shaped Sourdough Bread

Pumpkin Sourdough Bread
Pumpkin Sourdough Bread #1 PDF
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Ever since I moved to Florida, the Fall season became my favorite. The same way I waited for Summer in Latvia, now I wait for Fall here, to get over the heat and humidity of summer months. Needless to say that I adore everything related to Fall: decorations, holidays, and of course, fall-themed baked goods. I feel like I have already perfected the Sourdough Pumpkin Pancakes and Sourdough Apple Coffee Cake recipes in my Starter Discard Recipes, so it was time to try baking the famous pumpkin shaped bread, adding my own twist to it, of course.

As always, with a new recipe, I create the first version and, after trying it out, I make improvements if necessary and create a second final version (or sometimes third). This time both of them came out delicious, super soft, and beautiful looking, so I decided to post both recipes for you to decide which one is the winner! Please vote in the comments. I will count the votes and announce the hero recipe on Instagram.

As usual, I simplify my recipes, so they are easy to follow for beginners. I avoid using complex numbers and ingredients, so the recipe is more clear and less intimidating for new bakers. I list ingredients for 2 loaves so you can bake 2 and share 1 as a gift. To make a single loaf, simply divide each ingredient by 2.

Version #1 of the Sourdough Pumpkin Bread I made is below. Click here for Version #2.

Useful Tips:

  • Soak the cooking twine in oil to be able to remove it easily after baking the bread.

  • When flipping the dough out of the banneton, gently support the bottom with your hand to place it in the center of the twine.

  • Don't preheat your combo cooker, it's easier to handle the twine and score the bread, plus it never really made a difference in my experience.

  • Make a sketch of your scoring design on paper before doing it on the dough.

Pumpkin Sourdough Bread



Ingredients for 2 loaves:

Starter feeding 1:3:3 Ratio

  • 50g Starter (we use Whole Wheat starter)

  • 75g Bread flour

  • 75g Whole Wheat Flour

  • 150g Water (bottled or filtered)


  • 800g Bread flour

  • 200g Whole Wheat Flour

  • 600g Water (bottled or filtered)

  • 300g Starter @ 100% Hydration

  • 300g Canned Pumpkin Puree

  • 20g Salt


  • Rice Flour for dusting

  • Vegetable Oil

  • Cooking Twine

  • Parchment Paper


Prepare the Starter (morning 10 am)

  1. Feed 50g of starter with 75g bread flour, 75 g whole wheat flour, and 150g water, cover, and leave it on the counter to ferment for 6 hours. It should double in size by then.

Make the Dough (afternoon 4 pm)

  1. Combine 300g of starter with 600g of water at 85-90°F in a large mixing bowl and mix until the starter is dissolved.

  2. Add 300g of canned pumpkin puree and mix.

  3. Then add 800g of bread flour, 200g of whole wheat flour, and 20g of salt to the mixture and mix the dough with fingers until all of the ingredients are well incorporated with no dry bits left.

  4. Cover and leave it on the counter for 10 min to autolyse.

Stretch and Fold

  1. For the next 40 min perform stretching and folding technique every 10 min: take one side of the dough, stretch it as far as you can, and fold it on top of the dough. Turn the bowl counter-clockwise and do it 15 more times, stretching and folding each side.

  2. Cover and leave the dough on the counter for 3-4 hours to rise at about 76°F room temperature.

Shape and Proof (evening 8 pm)

  1. Mist the bannetons with water and sprinkle with Rice flour.

  2. Gently take the dough out of the bowl (use a spatula to help in the process), place it onto an unfloured surface, and divide the dough into 2 equal parts.

  3. Shape the dough into the final round shape using the same stretch and fold technique as above, stretching and folding 4 sides until you see a smooth side of the dough (about 8 times).

  4. Gently turn the dough with your hands round and round to create the surface tension and make it into a tight ball. Do not over-shape.

  5. Flour the top with bread flour and put each piece in the banneton seam side up and dust the top of the dough with rice flour.

  6. Place the bannetons in plastic bags and let the dough rest overnight in the fridge.

Bake (next day)

  1. Test the dough if it's ready to bake by gently pressing it with your finger. If it springs back up slowly - it's ready.

  2. Preheat the oven to maximum temperature (550°F in our case).

  3. Cut 4 pieces of the cooking twine 24 inches in length. It will create 8 triangles.

  4. Pour a little bit of vegetable oil into a bowl and dip the cooking twine in it until it's saturated with oil. Then place it on the bottom of the combo cooker (no need to preheat it).

  5. Carefully flip the dough out of the banneton on top of the twine and tie the pieces to fit the loaf, don't make it tight. Trim if necessary.

  6. Score the dough with a razor blade about ½ inch deep and put the lid on.

  7. Reduce the temperature to 475°F and bake for 30 min.

  8. Remove the lid, reduce the temperature to 450°F and bake for another 15-20 min uncovered.

  9. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool completely before cutting.

Enjoy Baking!


Tools I used:

Endless Loaf Banneton Bread Proofing Basket Set with 2 Embroidered Linen Liners and 3 Linen Bags


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