Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread
Maybe pumpkin sourdough bread sounds weird (although by now y’all are used to my sourdough escapades, right?), but I promise you it’s not. Somewhere between the flavor and consistency of a quick bread (think banana bread) and an actual loaf of bread, this recipe yields results that are sweet but not too sweet, soft but still substantial. Translation: a slice of this chocolate chip speckled pumpkin bread works just as well for breakfast as it does a midday snack, or even dessert!
There was just one snag in my plan to make this ASAP though: this recipe, like the cinnamon rolls, calls for mixing in a ton of butter — one square at a time. A process which absolutely calls for a stand mixer, which we did not have. We’ve been creating our own “stand mixer” forever, in which one person holds the bowl down and the other person mixes in the butter with a spoon. It’s not a great situation… unless you want to get a shoulder workout in while you bake?
I just could not bring myself to go through the torture anymore though, so we finally broke down and spend the way-too-much-money for a kitchenaid stand mixer.
And and it’s TEAL and beautiful and I’m in love ?
It sort of felt too easy to just stand there while and drop in one square of butter at a time while the thing mixed it for me but… nah, what am I saying?! I can definitely get used to this.
2020 has been one hell of a ride (the past month especially), so from me to you: here’s some delicious pumpkin bread to make us all feel better.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread
Sweet levain (prepare the night before mixing)
- 55 grams water
- 55 grams bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 11 grams sugar
- 22 grams mature sourdough starter ("mature" means it's at the point when you would usually feed it)
- 64 grams unsalted butter (just under 5 tablespoons)
- 94 grams water (warmed slightly in the microwave for 8-10 seconds)
- 79 grams milk (I used lactose free 2%)
- 154 grams all-purpose flour
- 199 grams high protein bread flour (I used King Arthur bread flour. You want it to be around 12-13% protein)
- 119 grams sweet levain (From above. You shouldn't have to use all of it.)
- 30 grams sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon each nutmeg, cloves, ginger
- 119 grams pumpkin puree
- 8 grams salt
- ¼-⅓ cup chocolate chips (depending on how chocolatey you want it)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
Prepare levain (30 mins) — 9:00 pm the night before mixing
- Mix water, flour, sugar, and mature sourdough starter in a jar and leave to ripen for 12 hours overnight. Note that I usually feed my starter at 9:00 pm, but do this whenever you usually feed yours.
Mix (30 mins) — 10:00 am
- Remove butter from fridge and cut into about ⅛"-¼" squares. Place on a plate to warm up to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the dough.
- Add everything else minus chocolate chips (water, milk, flours, levain, sugar, spices, pumpkin puree, salt) to bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the paddle attachment on and mix on lowest speed for 1-2 minutes until everything comes together and there aren't any dry bits left. (You can also do this by hand in a medium bowl, although I don't recommend it.)
- Increase speed to medium (2-3 on a KitchenAid) and mix for 8 minutes. The dough should gather around the paddle, but won't remove completely from the bottom. (If mixing by hand, continue mixing until you feel the dough start to strengthen.)
- Let rest for 10 minutes. After the time is up, scrape the dough off the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook.
- At this point, the butter should be soft but still have some structure. If it's still very hard, microwave for 5 seconds at a time until it softens a bit. Likewise, if it's warm and close to melting, put it in the freezer for a few minutes until it cools off. (If you'll be mixing by hand, let the butter get a little more on the soft side.)
- Turn mixer onto low (1 on a KitchenAid), and add butter one square at a time — waiting to add the next square until the last if completely incorporated. This will likely take upwards of 5 minutes. (If mixing by hand, it helps to have a friend hold the bowl down while you mix with a spoon. You'll get a nice shoulder workout doing this, which is why I don't really recommend this method.) When butter is all mixed in, the dough will be very smooth and much softer than a typical bread dough.
- Finally, slowly add in chocolate chips and mix on low until they're fully incorporated.
Bulk fermentation (3.5 hrs) — 10:30 am - 2:00 pm
- Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover with a cloth, and let sit at room temperature (75-77°F is ideal) for 3.5 hours. Perform 3 sets of "stretch and folds" every 30 minutes. After the third set, let dough rest, covered, for the rest of the fermentation time.
- At the end of the 3.5 hrs, check on the dough. It should have risen a little and look more puffy. If looks like nothing has happened, give it another 15-30 minutes. (Note: if you're really struggling with seeing any activity, make sure your dough is a warm enough place. In the winter I'll put it in a water heater closet, or even turn the oven on and set the bowl on top of it.)
Chill dough (15-25 mins) — 2:00 - 2:15 pm
- Uncover bowl and place in the refrigerator for 15-25 minutes. This will help it firm up slightly and make shaping it easier.
Shape (15 mins) — 2:15 pm
- Grease bread pan by drizzling oil or spreading butter lightly around the entire thing.
- Remove bowl from the refrigerator and gently remove onto floured counter. Flatten dough slightly to spread it out. Fold dough into thirds: lift up and fold left side over to middle, and then repeat with right side. The dough should now be as wide as the bread pan. Start at the top and roll it down to form a taut tube. (You can see an example here.) Transfer to greased pan, seam side down.
Proof (2+ hrs) — 2:30 - 4:30 pm
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and place somewhere warm to proof (counter, water heater closet, on top of a warm oven — 77-78°F is ideal here), for about two hours.
- At the end of two hours, check on the dough. It should have risen to about the top of the pan and be very light and airy. If it hasn't risen much, give it another 30 mins - 1 hr.
Refrigerate (overnight) — 4:30 pm
- Place covered pan in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven (30 mins) — 9:00 am next day
- Preheat oven to 400°F for 30 minutes to ensure it's at a stable temperature.
- When the 30 mins is almost up, prepare egg wash by whisking 1 egg with about 1 tbl of milk in a small bowl.
Bake (55-60 mins) — 9:30 am
- Remove pan from fridge and uncover. Brush top with egg wash and gently place in oven.
- Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Rotate pan 180° and reduce temperature to 375°F. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the top is starting to brown. Remove pan from oven and gently knock the loaf out onto a baking sheet. Place on baking sheet (it will be hot so you'll need hot pads for this!) and bake for another 5-10 minutes to add some color to the bottom and sides. The loaf should be plenty done by now, but if you want to be extra sure you can check the internal temp with a thermometer — it should be around 205°F.
Cool (2 hrs)
- I know, the worst part. Let the dough cool for at least 2 hours before slicing to make sure it's fully set. Goes great on its own, with a dark beer, and/or with a schmear of peanut butter and honey! Bread should keep covered on the counter for 1-1.5 weeks.
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