braided pumpkin bread braided pumpkin bread Israeli Kitchen The pumpkin puree gives this bread a pleasant golden-orange color. (Photo: Sarah Berkowitz)

Braided pumpkin bread

These round, decorative loaves are perfect for holiday entertaining – and gift-giving.

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  • Yield: 3 loaves
  • Prep time: 2 hours
  • Cook time: 30 minutes

There’s something about falling leaves that gets everyone in the mood for pumpkin-flavored everything. We’re guilty as charged around here, with pumpkin cranberry muffins, pumpkin lattes, even pumpkin-filled tortillas – and now this crusty, delicious home-baked pumpkin bread.

The pumpkin taste is subtle, but you’ll definitely notice a neat, orange glow to your bread that will impress the kids. Want to really impress them? Go for a pumpkin-shaped loaf! If you’re fond of seeds and stuff inside your bread, go ahead and sprinkle an extra cup of pumpkin seeds into the dough as you knead. For a sweeter loaf, up the sugar to one cup, and sprinkle the pans with a bit of cinnamon before baking the loaves. It’ll give the crust a slight cinnamon taste without being too overbearing (you know how cinnamon can get).

Any way you slice it, you’ll enjoy this bread immensely. Reheat briefly before serving for a hot, crusty slice of heaven.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 8 cups flour (blend of white and while whole wheat flour works well)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, for brushing
  • Pumpkin seeds, for topping

Directions

Combine yeast, warm water and sugar in medium bowl. Stir, and allow to proof for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir just until combined, and then add yeast mixture.

Knead until dough is smooth. If sticky, add more flour.

Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Punch down, and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll out two at a time into two evenly sized long ropes, and then twist the two ropes.

Wrap twisted ropes into a tight circle, pinch the end closed, and set onto baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining pieces of dough to yield 3 round braided loaves.

Allow to rise 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Beat egg and brush onto loaves, using two coats for an extra shiny touch. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

braided pumpkin breadFor best results, eat while warm. (Photo: Sarah Berkowitz)

Related Topics: Baking

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