So I’ve never had good luck baking bread in this house – I’ve had an entire year of failures. Seeing as baking is a science, I usually chalk each failure up as ant act of God to stop me from indulging in carbs by making the weather act up and kill my yeast in some way or another. Not this time. I finally figured out the perfect formula for successfully getting my yeast to behave (using the right bowl during rising, getting enough – but not too much – heat, etc.). And there you have it, I baked some yummy-in-my-tummy fall bread. Hallelujah!
I made this bread to go with our Caribbean-inspired pumpkin black bean soup that I’ll be posting about later this week. I probably could’ve just eaten this plain (and all of it for that matter), but I fear I’ll never again be allowed to successfully bake bread in this house ever again. I’ve been given a gift and I shouldn’t abuse it!
Oh, by the way – big news!! God listened to my persistent begging over the last month and my foot healed a LOT faster than it did in February and I was able to get the pin taken out TWO weeks early! I’m allowed to slowly start putting weight on it again, although I’m still in a soft cast for two more weeks. In short, I (Lauren), baked this bread all by myself. This week. For real. I am back in action, people! Okay, so I probably won’t be cooking anything too nuts in the near future and I’ll probably still be relying a lot on Branden for nourishment, but at least the end is in sight!
- 3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour, divided (about 15 3/4 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese, divided
- 2 TBS dried rosemary
- 2 tsp. coarse sea salt
- Cooking spray
- Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour and butter to yeast mixture; stir just until combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes.
- Add pumpkin, salt, and nutmeg to flour mixture; stir until well combined. Add 2 1/4 cups flour and half of cheese; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
- Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Place dough circle on a baking stone (or a baking sheet, sprayed with cooking spray). Sprinkle rosemary, sea salt, and remaining cheese evenly over dough; press lightly to adhere. Lightly coat dough with cooking spray; cover and let rise 20 minutes (dough will not double in size).
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Uncover dough; bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until loaf is browned on the bottom and cheese melts (shield loaf with foil to prevent overbrowning, if necessary). Cool on a wire rack.
Adapted from Cooking Light