Pumpkin Sourdough -- help?

Hello bread friends! I saw a loaf on Instagram that was in the shape of a pumpkin and she said she just substituted 30% of the water for pumpkin puree and at the 3rd stretch and fold added 1 TBSP of pumpkin pie seasoning. There was no actual recipe so I modified my “master” recipe to try it –

400 g KA bread flour (80%)
100 g Bob’s Red Mill spelt flour (20%)
150 g pumpkin puree (30%)
250 g water (50%)
100 g starter (20% at 100% hydration)
10 g salt

Now, I don’t like pumpkin so I assumed I wouldn’t like this, but we were going to a party and a bunch of people there like pumpkin. However, this loaf was horrible! It was SO bitter that it was basically inedible. I assume that it needs sugar somewhere and then I was thinking maybe I should go about this with an enriched dough? I don’t want to do a loaf like a banana bread, I know that will work, I really want a boule shaped, traditional sourdough look to it.

Any ideas? Or has anyone come up with a pumpkin recipe that works for them?

I make a sourdough oatmeal pumpkin bread this time of year. And happy coincidence, I just made it and have a small loaf and photos as shown below. Recipe was based on an “Artisan in 5 minutes per day” recipe from before my sourdough days. As you noted, it is an enriched dough and although I included my entire method, I think any method you normally use for an enriched dough is fine!!

240 grams pumpkin (I used pumpkin from sugar pumpkin that I cooked fresh and pureed)

334 grams water divided
1 T salt
4 T melted butter
100 grams honey (if you use canned pumpkin, you might want to increase honey or whatever sweetener you use … a little … I think ??)
55 grams rolled oats
100 grams whole wheat ( I used bolted Kamut this year instead of whole wheat)
90 grams rye flour
400 grams white flour
248 grams starter

I used a method that has been working well for me for high moisture doughs (***AND, this dough was pretty wet … I don’t think there would be any issue with adding a bit more white flour if you (or any baker making this) thought the dough was wetter than you/they wanted to deal with … baker’s call!)

For the starter build, in the morning or night before if you prefer: 100 grams active starter, 70 grams flour, 70 grams water. Mix well and leave at room temp until bubbly, active, floats. Now … you basically want 248 grams starter 100% hydration … how you get there is up to you, i.e. there is nothing magic about how much starter, how much flour and water to use to get to 248 grams.

About 2 hours before you want to use your starter (I know from experience, I am about 4 hours from mix to ready to use so about 2 hours in when I start in the morning … I do this step): mix all flours, oats and 284 grams water. Just a rough mix incorporating most of the flour. Let it set for 3-5 hours … your schedule … no magic time, you are just allowing the flour to absorb the water some.

Add levain and everything else. I whizzed all of the remaining water, pumpkin, salt butter and honey in a blender and added with levain to the flour mix.

I used a stand mixer to incorporate everything … after a bit, I let the mix sit for 30 minutes and then mixed again until the dough cleaned the bowl and whap, whap, whap against the side of the bowl.

Put dough - it is pretty wet and nearly pourable, into a clean bowl, cover and leave at room temp for 4-7 hours (I went 7 as my house is very cool at 63F and things happen slower, and especially with an enriched dough)

Refrigerate for 12 plus hours. The loaf below is 12 hours. I have a 2nd larger loaf that I’ll bake this afternoon, probably.

Shape, proof, bake.

I did this little loaf in a cast iron loaf pan, using a USA loaf pan as a lid: 500 preheated oven and pans for 25 minutes, lid off, temp to 450, 15 more minutes to temp of 203F. The 2nd loaf is larger and I intend to bake it in a clay oblong baker, but no reason this dough can’t be a boule baked in a dutch oven or round baker or whatever.

Flavor is slightly sweet. Crumb is softish like a sandwich bread. Crust is thin and crisp.


I’ve had my eye in this recipe but haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

So … out for a walk, I happened to remember a post about some pumpkin shaped rolls and I found it. Now, I think it might be fun to do a boule with the same technique. The rolls used a cashew for the pumpkin stem and I so far haven’t thought of something larger for a boule pumpkin… I did make the recipe in the link and the rolls were very good so if you don’t like pumpkin, but want to go for a pumpkin motif … another option. And I think you could make a boule from the dough vs the rolls if you wanted to. And easily converted to using a sourdough starter from yeast.

Pumpkin shaped sweet potato brioche rolls

@Abe I am a fan of “Cultured for Health” so I’m pretty sure that will be a delicious quick bread!

Their banana bread is really nice. Along a similar vein of a preferment but final loaf is quick with the use of baking soda. If you try it before I do be sure to let me know what you think of it.

The only thing I’m not sure about is the long preferment which includes milk whereas the banana bread does not.

Cinnamon stick for a boule stem?