Pumpkin sourdough loaf


I showcased this loaf in my latest IMK post.  As I mentioned in that post, I always make the same recipe (this one) but, the other day, decided to make an effort and try something new.  And with all those pumpkins lying around, a pumpkin loaf seemed logical.

I must say, I was pretty happy with the loaf when I took it out of the oven but, at the time of writing my IMK post, I hadn’t cut the bread and tasted it.  The loaf was well risen and a delightful colour.  It verged on warranting the description, ‘beautiful’.

The bread did not disappoint when I had some for breakfast the next day.  The crumb is tender and the crust is soft, much like a sandwich loaf.  Despite the colour, there is no discernible pumpkin taste.  I most certainly will be repeating this one.

This recipe is from Discovering Sourdough by Teresa Greenway.


  • 255g active 100% hydration starter
  • 372g water
  • 350g bread flour

If you have a 166% hydration starter (ie, a starter from Celia ), then the ingredients for the pre-ferment are:

  • 255g active 166% hydration starter
  • 340g water
  • 382g bread flour


  • All the pre-ferment
  • ½ cup evaporated milk (I just used ordinary milk)
  • ¾ cup pumpkin, cooked, mashed and cooled (or, if you are in the States, canned pumpkin)
  • 2 tbs*  oil
  • 1 heaped tbs* honey**
  • 572g bread flour
  • 20g salt

*These are 15 mil tablespoons.

**See below.



In the late afternoon, around 16:00 – 17:00 hours, prepare the pre-ferment.

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Cover lightly and allow the mixture to ferment at room temperature until around 21:00 – 22:00 hours.
  3. Put the pre-ferment in the fridge.

The next day: 

  1. Take the pre-ferment out of the fridge and allow it to get to room temperature.
  2. Put the pumpkin and milk into a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Combine all the ingredients (except the salt) in the bowl of your mixer.
  4. Using a low setting, mix the ingredients until just incorporated.
  5. Cover the bowl and let stand for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the salt.
  7. Mix the dough on low speed for 4 minutes.
  8. Oil a large plastic container, place the dough in it and cover.
  9. Three times, at hourly intervals, fold the dough.  This is a bit tricky as the dough is very sticky but do your best.  When folding, keep the dough in the container and don’t add flour.
  10. After 4 hours, divide the dough in 2 and shape the loaves.  Try not to deflate the dough too much at this stage.  If you are making any additions**, now is the time.  At this stage, and if desired, sprinkle pepitas on the loaves.
    I decided to make 2 sandwich loaves, so I made 2 batards and then placed them, right side up, in my prepared bread tins.  My tins are about 24cm long and 10.5cm wide at the top.
    If you are making free-form loaves, place the loaves, upside down, in baskets lined with cloth and generously sprinkled with flour or in bannetons.
  11. Allow the loaves to prove for 1 -2 hours.  I left mine for about 2 hours.
  12. An hour before baking place a tile on your oven shelf and preheat your oven to 230ºC
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes turn the oven down to 200°C and bake for another 20 minutes.
  14. Take the loaves out of the oven and release them from their tins.  Cool on a cake rack.

If you are making free form loaves, check out this post for baking instructions.


Teresa suggested:

  1. adding two heaped tablespoons* of honey instead of the one; and
  2. sprinkling cinnamon and raisins on the dough when shaping the loaves.

I decided to add 100g of raisins (which I’d soaked in boiling water for a couple of hours) and a few pepitas.  Next time, I will follow the instructions a little more closely because the raisins would be better in a sweeter loaf and the cinnamon would add a nice touch.

Another alternative, if you want to keep the loaf savoury, is to keep the honey as is and add pepitas, sunflower seeds, pecans or walnuts when shaping the dough.  Each would make a lovely addition.



26 thoughts on “Pumpkin sourdough loaf

  1. Oh my gosh. You have just combined two of my most favourite ingredients (pumpkin and bread). I am in love! Haha

    Also, total mindreader! My sourdough starter is coming alive as we speak! A day or two until I make sourdough everything!!!

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  4. I tried pumpkin bread once before my sourdough starter found me and I loved it but it was fiddly – I love the sound of this but it sounds very fiddly with the mixer (which I don’t have) but you have inspired me to try some pumpkin sourdough

  5. Yum. And it’s a glorious colour, which is what I think tempts me to buy pumpkin bread at the markets, although I think it has a very slight sweetness that’s appealing. I love it toasted with butter and vegemite. Hmmm, hungry now 🙂

  6. Love the part of the recipe that says “and if you are in the states, canned pumpkin.” Yes, you’re so right – we won’t have fresh pumpkin here for another 3 months. But this recipe is a keeper. I’ll look forward to trying this in autumn. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Looks good, you’ll be able to do a book “1001 ways to use pumpkin” by the time you’ve used them up. They all look really good though! Made a nut loaf today! Not yours, but thanks for putting me onto the search 🙂

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