Monday, January 24, 2011

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Flax Bread ~ Recipe

Pumpkin Flax Bread

The cold and darker days of winter make me want to bake and cook up a storm! I love to create yummy homemade food for my family but it's also a great way to help keep the main floor of our house nice and toasty with the extra heat coming from the oven :) So when I ran across a new recipe for a pumpkin flax loaf of bread I just had to give it a try using some of the pumpkin I canned in the fall.

The recipe does take a bit of preparation as it requires a sponge but trust me it only takes a minute or two to prepare it!

In a glass bowl mix:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour from freshly ground hard wheat berries
3/4 cup of lukewarm water
1/4 tsp yeast

Mix it all together well, cover and let sit on your counter top over night at least 12 hours. In the morning you will find that it has grown and bubbled in the bowl.
***If you are using home canned pumpkin like I am you will also want to place it in a strainer and into the fridge over a bowl so that any excess liquid can drip out of it overnight before using it in your bread in the morning :)

Canned Pumpkin Spears

Now that your sponge has sat overnight and is nice and bubbly it's time to start making your bread!

You will now need:

2 1/2 - 3 cups whole wheat flour from freshly ground hard wheat berries
3/4 cup all purpose white flour (provides gluten for a good rise)
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1 tsp. yeast
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp. flax seeds

Mix your pumpkin, water, ground flax, whole flax seeds and yeast into your sponge and stir until it is nice and smooth. Stir in your white flour and half of your whole wheat and again mix until smooth. Continue to add the remainder of your whole wheat flour a little at a time until you have incorporated all of it. It makes quite a sticky dough and I found that I needed to use the entire amount of flour.

A little tip for working with a dough that is a little bit on the sticky side like this one is to rub a little bit of oil onto your counter top where you will be kneading your bread and onto your hands so that you can knead it for the 8 minutes without having to add any extra flour which can make your finished bread dry.

Once you have finished kneading your dough, cover it with a cloth and allow it to rise until doubled. Roughly an hour.

Pumpkin Flax Bread

Now that your dough has completed its first rise, punch it down to release the gas inside the dough and divide it into two equal pieces. Shape your dough into two nice balls and place on a baking stone or parchment covered baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover your dough again with a cloth and let them rise until doubled again.

Once your loaves have finished their final rise you can create a pretty top to your bread with flax seeds by beating an egg white until it is frothy and brushing it gently all over the top of your loaves. Your flax seeds will now stick to your dough. You can also use a sharp knife and gently slice an X onto the top of each loaf which will create a nice look as it bakes as well :)

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped on their bottom side.

Pumpkin Flax Bread

Oh my goodness is this bread delicious!!!
It is so nice and soft and if you are worried about it having a pumpkiny taste it doesn't at all. It was a huge hit with the kids so I know this is going to become a family favorite. Now I only wish that I had more of my canned pumpkin as this is really going to eat through my stash *grin*. Guess we're going to have to make sure we grow a whole bunch this year!

This recipe was adapted from this Harvest Squash Bread recipe using regular whole wheat flour and roasted acorn squash so you can definitely make this recipe even if you don't grind your own flour! Also if you don't have an acorn squash substitute in what you do have on hand. Sometimes the best breads come from those you change *grin*

Happy Baking!

PS. Looking for more yummy recipes?? Check out this week's Hearth and Soul blog hop :)


Mrs A said...

i would love to have those with some pumpkin soup on a cold day, very yummy!

eidolons said...

I will be making this! Yum!

girlichef said...

This sounds amazing! I am the same way...I'm baking bread like it's going out of style. It just warms up the whole house and our souls along with it! I'm marking this one to glad you shared it w/ the hearth and soul hop this week, thanks :D

Anonymous said...

OH, we've got pumpkin on the brain too. Took some frozen puree out a few days ago and was going to make a pumpkin quick bread...but I think I'm going to make this now. I'm going to attempt it with spelt flour we'll see. So yummy!

Jenny said...

oh wow! This looks divine!

house full of jays said...

Oh wow! This looks delicious - and your loaf looks so beautiful!
I'm curious to know more about your hand-milled flour!

Melynda said...

What delicious bread, thanks!

Jenny said...

I tried your bread today and I have to ask...did you use salt? I followed your directions without looking at the original recipe. It is beautiful, but bland. (My loaf anyway!)

Rosina {Rosy ~ Posy} said...

Hi Jenny :)

You had asked me if I used salt in my bread and I didn't. I actually don't use salt in any of my baking but that is just my personal preference. If you normally use it then I would definitely add it :) It's actually supposed to help with the rise as well so I've been told :) I'm so happy you gave it a try with your hand milled flour. I just love the hearty flavor of fresh wheat :)

KnitterMama said...

Oh my goodness, this sounds absolutely delicious. I really wish that I had frozen some pumpkin