Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Pumpkin Bread

I finally managed to work on this pumpkin bread after a long break from bread making. Since I missed the kneading so much, I made this loaf all by hand, although the bread can be easily done entirely by the bread machine (if you omit the pumpkin seeds and egg glaze). I was attracted to this recipe when I came across the illustration of this golden round loaf in the book, Bread, Baking by Hand or Bread Machine. My replica is way too far from the original photo, as the top was almost burnt! Even though I had placed the oven rack to a lower position, the bread rose high and mighty and almost hit the heating elements that are located at the top of my small oven. Luckily, I managed to spot the slightly burnt smell, and quickly "tent" the top of the loaf with a sheet of aluminium foil.

After downloading the photos, I thought I saw "two eyes" and a "wide smile" staring back at me. Can you spot it? If not, what about this smaller one:

I find this so hilarious!! That's one of the joys of baking, isn't it?! You never know what you get until the entire thing is done!

I was expecting something dense, moist and sweet, but surprisingly, the bread was soft, light and even fluffy...and it was not sweet, it tasted almost like a plain loaf of soft white bread. There's no trace of the pumpkin at all, if not for the deep yellow hue, you wouldn't know it's made with mashed pumpkin! Nevertheless, I like the texture of the bread and the slightly crisp crust and the pumpkin seeds were very fragrant. The bread tasted good lightly toasted and buttered. I must say it's a great healthy choice of bread for breakfast :)


500g pumpkin, after peeled, seeded and cut into pieces
you are left with about 300g(alternatively, use 300g canned pumpkin puree)
60ml cooking liquid reserved from cooking the pumpkin or use water if using canned pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons of runny honey
500g bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
egg glaze (beat together 1 egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk)
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, to decorate


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pumpkin flesh and simmer until soft and cooked through, about 20 mins. Drain the pumpkin and reserve the cooking liquid.
  2. Mash the pumpkin thoroughly, and sieve, or puree in a food processor or blender, about 2 mins. (I didn't sieve or puree the pumpkin as it was already very soft and fine.) Leave the pumpkin puree and the reserved cooking liquid to cool.
  3. Add honey to 60ml of the cooking liquid and stir to dissolve.
  4. Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in the instant yeast and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add in the honey liquid, followed by the pumpkin puree.
  5. Mix in the flour to form a firm, coarse, sticky dough. If the mixture is too dry, gradually add one or two tablespoons of the pumpkin liquid (or water). (I added extra two tablespoons of liquid).
  6. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Knead until very smooth, silky and elastic, about 10 mins. (I didn't stop until almost close to 20mins of kneading!)
  7. Place dough in large clean bowl and cover with a tea towel or cling wrap. Leave to rise until double in size, about 1 to 1.5hrs. Knock back the dough to release the air, then leave it to rest for 10mins, covered.
  8. Shape dough into a round loaf. Place on an oiled baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. (I used a round 20cm baking pan instead). Prove until double in size, about 1 hour.
  9. Brush the dough with egg glaze and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven at 220 deg C (I set mine to 200 deg C) and bake for 40mins until golden-coloured and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath. Leave to cool completely before slicing.

    Source: adapted from Bread, Baking by Hand or Bread Machine by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno


ka..t said...

Mmmm.. just want to slather a big slab of butter on it!! Yumms!

Good, now I have someone who tests out bread recipes! I am still waiting for my breadmaker to arrive so that I can get back to baking my own bread! Luckily my daughter and hubby love bread!

Heehee.. your bread looks like the little white 6-legged dog in this alien cartoon on Playhouse Disney (the one where the alien looks like a caveman with no mouth and they always visit a foreign planet).

Anh said...

The first photo is sooo lovely! I feel like the bread is 'smiling' at me, saying 'eat me eat me' ;). Wonderful job!!!

Ellena said...

Wow....thank for sharing this recipes.. i had long wanted to try making a pumpkin bread which i heard and saw in food magazine.. and yours really look easy and straight forward to follow... Thanks for making it so simple and the photo really make it look so great!!!! Thank :)

bakeAstory said...

Looks really good.

I really enjoy your blog. So generous with information and such nice pictures!

You know, you have inspired me enough to also start my own blog. Do visit me some time at I hope to post some of the results of what I learned from your blog soon....


Elyn said...

The bread look so good and reminds me of homemade bread, been so long I make bread!

vb said...

Definately a bread for Halloween!!! Put it next to a carved pumpkin - wah! Nice! How abt we trade? I made orange yoghurt cake today so u give me some of yr bread and I give u some cake. Perfect breakfast hor? Sigh, if only we live close to each other!

Happy Homebaker said...

hey ka..t, I have already bookmarked you, so will be keeping a look out for your breads too :)

Anh, thanks, by the way, it also reminds me of a giant hamburger bun too, lolz!

Ellena, you have not seen the photo of the pumpkin bread from the book...I bet you will fall in love with it!

Hi bakeAstory, thanks for your kind words! You make be feel so honoured! I should be the one learning from you, your piped roses are amazing! I will never be able to make those! I can't wait to see your next posting :)

Elyn, I missed your bread postings too! but I am happy just looking at your beautiful mooncakes :)

vb, oh, Halloween! The first and my only Halloween I had celebrated was in Oct 2000! I saw my first giant pumpkin that year in the States. If I am rich enough, will certainly bake a loaf and FedEx it over to you, or I'll fly over to your place to have your orange yogurt cake for tea :)

ka..t said...

HHB (lucky your moniker isn't Happy Dedicated Baker... LOL), do you mind if I link you in one of my posts? I made the lemon yoghurt cake and would like to share your story.

Happy Homebaker said...

hi ka..t, sure, thanks for linking me :) I'll love to read about your lemon yoghurt cake...oh, I've got another yoghurt cake recipe which I would probably try next week!

Li said...

Hi Happy Homebaker,
I've chanced upon your blog recently and attracted by your mixed berries muffin.
My muffin turned out with a flat and crunchy surface and it didn't raise at all.
I wonder if these are the correct steps??
1) Blended the mixture too long till it's smooth without any lump
2) The muffin cups are only 3/4 full
3) Did I bake too long at a 220 deg C for 20 minutes with preheat at 220 deg C?

Sue Sue said...

The pumpkin bread look so lovely. Check out my blog, awarded you with the CD Award. 'clap' 'clap'

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Li,
1) You should mix the flour until it just incorporates into the batter, the batter should be lumpy...DO NOT mix till smooth without lump.
2) You can fill the muffin cups to 3/4 full...depending on the recipe, if the batter is thick, you may fill up to almost full...but if the batter is thin, just 2/3 full will do as it may over flow.
3) As different oven is different, you will need to check by observing...the muffins should be done if the top turns golden brown and a skewer(or toothpick) inserted into the centre comes out clean.
You may check this website on tips on how to make a perfect muffins:, hope this helps :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Sue Sue, it's so nice of you to give me the Creative blogger award! I am so delighted, and yet, I must say I'm not a creative person ;) but thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Hi Happy homebaker
Your's pumpkin bread looks yummy!
BTW, how to determine whether bread had cook completely? would u mind share ur experience. Thanks, SP

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi SP, I usually follow the temperature setting and recommended time stated in the bread recipe. When the time is up, I will remove the bread from the oven...usually without knowing whether it is cooked thoroughly, hehe! But the recommended way to test for doneness is to tap the bottom of the loaf...if you can hear a hollow sound, it means the bread is done. If not place it back in the oven to bake again. I usually did this test only after the bread is the loaf is simply too hot for me to handle! So, my way of testing is to look at whether the top has turned golden brown, and there must be a very nice smell of freshly baked bread. I think with some practice you should be able to get a feel of it. Hope this helps :)

lynn said...

I love this loaf. It looks beautiful with the pumpkin seeds on top and its happy smile. It looks delicious, too.

vb said...

Aiyoh, yr suggestion/thoughts so sweet really put a smile on my face and warmed my heart : )

Anonymous said...

Hi dere,

im defintely 'hooked' to ur baking blog....ur breads look so nice n yummy...they look even better den othr bakeries in town.. =D the pumpkin bread is so smiley...hope to learn some baking ideas frm u...look 4ward to ur newest item...keep it up..!! U r a great mum... ^_^



Violette said...

I love pumpkin bread so I will try the recipe. The pumpkin seeds really make it look attractive.

Happy Homebaker said...

Lynn, thanks!

Tiramisuz, thanks for your encouraging words :)

Hi Violette, I can't wait to hear from you after you have tried it!

xan said...

haro! love your cheerful bread :D
no pumpkin taste huh? Good coz i dont fancy it. Will include this into my "to-do" list. any idea if i can replace it with yam or sweet potato? TIA

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Xan, I am sure you can replace it with yam or sweet potato. Happy baking :)

Hillary said...

Interesting! When I think of pumpkin bread, I think of a dense brown gooey bread that's almost like a honey cake. Who would have thought it could mean something entirely different?

Cat said...

I'm so impressed by the fluffy texture of this bread. It looks very delicious !

Happy Homebaker said...

Hillary, yes, most of the time pumpkins are used for quickbread ot tea cake :)

Cat, I was expecting something that is rather dense, but it turned out fluffy and soft =)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just came across your blog and I've been looking at all the delicious bread recipes. You are inspiring me to bake some (even by hand)! :)

Maybe try adding these spices to the pumpkin bread for more flavor:
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Or maybe try roasting the pumpkin or butternut squash with some brown sugar in the oven for a sweeter flavor?

Have a good day and continue baking. I love reading your blog and looking at your bread pictures!


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Hanna, thanks so much for your sweet comments and your useful tips on how to spice up the bread :) I will try it out the next time I made this bread!

Anonymous said...

I made this last evening, and I was hugely disappointed. The end product wasn't light, or fluffy. It was v dense....just sat there. :-(

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Anonymous, sorry to hear about your unsuccessful attempt :(
Did you knead the bread till it is smooth and elastic and not sticky? I guess the bread turned out dense because of under kneading.

pebbledash said...

This is delicious, I made it yesterday. Thanks for the recipe.

Boringtazz said...

Hi Happy Home Baking

I really love your blog and those really beautiful photos. I can't help but try out making the bread myself even though I don't have a bread machine. So far, have tried making your milk loaf and pumpkin bread. I even modified your milk loaf into milk pretzel. Both the milk loaf and pumpkin bread turns out a little dense in the middle, do you know what's wrong?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Boringtazz, Thanks for your comments :)
I suspect it is due to the kneading, or you could have underbake the loaf. As there are many factors affecting the outcome of the bread, could you provide more details on how you went about making the bread?

Boringtazz said...

For the pumpkin bread I think I could have under knead it as I got exhausted after 10 minutes. I could also have under bake it as I set the oven temp to 200 degree cel and baked it for just 30min as I was worried the skin get burnt.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Boringtazz, so I think it is likely due to the kneading. You will have to knead the dough until it is very smooth and elastic. For the milk loaf, I usually have to knead by hand for 30mins.
To prevent the crust from getting burnt, you can tent it with an alum foil halfway or closer to the end of the baking time. Hope this helps :)

Boringtazz said...

Thanks Happy Homebaker, will definitely try it again.

kium said...


I tried this recipe and it turn out great eventhough I just knead for a short 5 mins ( like Artisan Bread in 5 mins). I made into small buns and it's not dense at all. Thank you for the recipe.

Queen Butter

Janetan said...

hi HHB,
wow your pmpkin bread looks so delicious and healthy~ i want to ask that the pumpkin weight should be use is 500g or 300g??

Happy Homebaker said...

Janetan, 500g is before removing the skin, 300g is the actual weight of the pumpkin flesh to be used, that is with the skin removed.

Janetan said...

hi HHB,
thanks a lot.. i'll try then let u know the result..

Anonymous said...


I just tried your recipe today. After 30 min of kneading, the dough still feel slightly sticky tho it does not stick to the hand. Is it still under knead? I also forgot to add salt to the water before boiling the pumpkin and simply took remove them with a spoon before mashing instead of draining. Would that affect the dough. My bread is not as light and fluffy as i would like. Pls advise me, a newbie. Thanks.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, you can do a window pane test to check whether you have knead the dough well. Take a piece of dough and stretch should be able to stretch it into a thin membrane without tearing. If the dough tears easily, then it is not well kneaded. I think your bread is not as light and fluffy because it is not well kneaded, not so much with draining the pumpkin.

Anonymous said...

Good Day HHB

I tried out ur recipe on Pumpkin Bread and just want u to know that bread turned out good as well, though not as soft as the one on "Back to Basic". Thank u very much again for ur kind sharing of the recipe.

I am also surprise to learn that though ur food blog is very outstanding and professional but u r actually a very down to earth person who possessed little baking gadgets but contributing enormously good recipes to people like me, a novice in picking up baking.

I hv much to learn from u, esp. on the cake recipes.

Priscilla Poh

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Priscilla, thanks for your comments :)
This pumpkin bread is one of the best bread recipes I followed from western cookbooks ;)

Yes, I don't own that many baking or kitchen gadgets, since I am just a novice too, I can only make very simple cakes, hope you won't be too disappointed :)

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB, there goes again, u r very humble. I love the cream cake recipes in ur blog as they contained little butter. Instead, the whipping cream (less fat compare to the butter) is my favourite way to eat cakes.

I will slowsly try out ur recipes, one after another, and let u know the results.

BTW, u mentioned that u like chiffon pans without 'legs' which is opposite to my preference. Cud u share why w/o legs is preferable by u? I thought those sold in Phoon Huat 16 cm (brand: Glory) w/o legs but the centre tube is rather short for inverting.

Priscilla Poh

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Priscilla, I hope you have fun trying out the recipes :)

The chiffon pan I bought from PH is not the Glory brand. In fact this type of pan w/o legs have got longer tubes and they appear to be deeper (u may refer to the pic I posted on my latest post on Sakura Chiffon) than those with legs. I think the one you saw is not a two-piece chiffon pan but a one piece savarin pan? Also, those with legs dont come in 17cm pan size. 20cm cakes are too big for my family as most of the time I am alone with my two kids.

Anonymous said...

Good Day HHB

The 16 cm chiffon tube pans I saw at PH were the 2-pc type. I think the one featured on ur latest sakura chiffon is the latest type of tube pan (matt finish) which I saw at Gim Him Lee and commanding a higher price at around S$9.00/pc. than those PH or Gim Him Lee normally stocked in the past.

When I saw this pan at Gim Him Lee, my impression was it's bigger than the normal 16 cm and I did not buy it because then it will be a little big for my small chiffon (I always bake small chiffons). I still prefer the 16 cm chiffon pan comes with legs but with long tube which is available at Joo Chiat area. I even got one at S$4.00 and I am going to buy one more next week. I can even change the tube pan into 'spring foam' pan by getting a pc of s/s plate base so that I can use it for cheesecake baking or for baking that requires a springform pan. Varsatile isn't it?

Priscilla Poh

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Priscilla, ok I know which one you are referring to...the smaller 16cm pan. Yes the matt finish pan is more expensive at about $9+. It is good that you can modify your chiffon pan to use it as a springform pan :) I use a 7" round pan with a removable base for baking cakes and also double up as springform pan. Pardon my ignorant, I have not heard of Gim Him Lee, told you, I am just a novice (^_^)

Anonymous said...

Thnx for ur response. Gim Hin Lee at Haig Rd (Geylang area) which represents Bake King brand of bakery products. The small chiffon tube pan sold at GHL is S$9.30. Some heartland kitchenware shops are selling as high as S$10 or S$11. I went to PH Bencoolen but did not find any small chiffon tube pan (the model u hv, probably sold out). I bought another two 16 cm chiffon tube pans at the same shop at Joo Chiat. I simply love the ones with legs. And when once I've found the right size stainless steel flat plate, I can double it up as cake pan. With the legs, I can invert the cake after it is baked.

One other thing, I find ur cake and bread recipes rather healthy because they are of low butter content. Most of ur birthday cakes are adorned with whipping cream which I find it to be healthier compare to cakes ladened with butter. Whipping cream aside having lower fat content also looks more delicious and beautiful on cakes.

Hence, I shall start using ur birthday cake recipes in the near future.

Thank you once again for all ur sumptious and beautiful recipes.

Priscilla Poh

Chong sun sun said...

Hi, HHB. Thanks again for yr lovely bread recipe, my family loved them so much. My pumpkin bread was soft but the crust came out hard. I used oven to baked this, normally my loaf crust will be hard but when i baked bun, it is ok. What should i do? I thought of reducing the temperature but worry it will underbaked or should i shorten the time?


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi sun sun, maybe you can cover the loaf with foil to prevent the crust from turning hard? or bake at a lower rack?