"Bread is an object of unparalleled worship and decorum. It embodies the full cycle of life and seasons, from the death of the wheat kernel in the earth to the resurrection as a stalk, from its ordeal in the mill to its journey through the oven and its offering at the table. Bread is a part of all major events in many lives, to betrothal and marriage, to death and ressurection."
-- Bernard Dupaigne, The History of Bread.
Today is World Bread Day! To commemorate this special day, we're making Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes method and submitting it as our entry in the World Bread Day event.
When I was baking the pumpkin bread, my youngest son came in and asked "Is it bready?" He smelled the bread baking in the oven. There's just something about the smell of homemade bread. I never get tired of it. It fills the house with a wonderful aroma and makes the world right. I think it's very appropriate to have a world bread day.
My taste tester came by this morning on his way to work to try some of this bread. It's definitely a winner! It looks like a simple loaf of bread, but the taste is extraordinary! It's made using the delayed fermentation method which gives it a burst of flavor you wouldn't normally find in a regular loaf of bread. It's deceptively delicious! I highly recommend it!
Here is a photo of the oatmeal pumpkin bread with one of the flower arrangements my oldest son created in the background. He's taking floral design as an elective in college and I get to reap the benefits. This arrangement is so pretty, I had to show it off! You can't really tell from this photo, but the flowers are in a mug shaped like a flower pot. So cute!
Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread
Makes: Three 1 1/2 pound loaves
You can easily double of halve this recipe. I should've doubled it. I made two large loaves and they were gone in no time.
- 1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup rye flour
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- Neutral-tasting oil for greasing the pan
Mixing and Storing the Dough
Mix the yeast and salt with the water, melted butter, and honey in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded food container. Normally, I would mix the dough in a lidded container to make it easy to store and clean up; however I wanted to make two loaves so I just mixed the dough in a bowl. zmix in the oatmeal, pumpkin, and flours (whole wheat, all-purpose, rye) without kneading, using a spoon.
Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 2 hours or until the dough rises and collapses. This is the dough after resting on the counter for 2 hours.
You can use the dough immediately after the initial rise, however, it is easier to work with when cold. I refrigerated the dough overnight. You can leave it in the refrigerator for up to 9 days, but you'll want to bake this one right away.
This is the dough after resting in the refrigerator overnight.
Shaping and Proofing the Loaves
The next day (or on baking day), grease 9x5x3-inch nonstick loaf pan(s).
Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 1/2-pound piece. Rather than follow this part of the process, I cut the dough into 3 pieces and weighed them so the loaves would be equal in size. I'll be making the other loaf next time.
Then I cut two pieces of dough in half to make 4 pieces.
Dust the pieces with more flour and quickly shape them into balls by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
Place the dough in the prepared pan(s). I decided to divide the dough so that I could freeze one part and eat the other part. Instead of placing one big ball in each pan as the recipe instructs, I put two smaller balls in each pan. However, after the loaves were baked, I realized they wouldn't last long enough to freeze any. I think that's a good problem to have.
Cover the pans with plastic wrap and let them rest and rise for 2 hours.
Here are the loaves after two hours. I probably should've let them rise a little bit longer until they reached the top of the pans. The dough was really cold when I put it in the pan and the house was a little chilly so the loaves didn't rise as quickly as they normally would.
Baking the Loaves
Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and place an empty broiler tray for hot water on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread. I placed the broiler tray on the bottom rack so that I could bake the bread on the middle rack.
Place the loaves on the center rack of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm.
Allow to cool before slicing or eating. This was the hard part. My teenagers were waiting with baited breath to eat some.
Finally! The loaves are cooled and ready to eat. I pulled apart one loaf. I could've eaten the whole thing, but I didn't! I sliced it and took a photo instead. Then, we devoured it! We've almost finished a whole loaf. Thank goodness I made two loaves.
Click here to learn more about World Bread Day
Check out all of these great bread in the World Bread Day 2009 Roundup.
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