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Pumpkin Sourdough Bread


All you need is pumpkin puree, kitchen twine, a cinnamon stick, and a little oil to turn your regular sourdough into a Thanksgiving table centerpiece or the perfect autumn-themed gift!


Make the Dough


Mix together the starter, water, and pumpkin puree. Add in the flour and salt and mix until a rough dough forms. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rest for 45 minutes to one hour.


After the dough has rested, work the mass into a fairly smooth ball. To do this, grab a portion of the dough with your fingers and fold it over, pressing your fingertips into the center. Repeat this until the dough begins to tighten, about 10 to 15 seconds.


Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rise overnight at room temperature. The dough is ready when it’s doubled in size. This will take about eight to 10 hours at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Shape the Dough


Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface. Shape the dough into a round by starting at the top and folding it over towards the center. Turn the dough slightly and fold the next section of dough. Repeat until you have come full circle. Flip the dough over and let it rest for five to 10 minutes.


Line an eight-inch banneton proofing basket with a towel. Dust the towel well with flour. With floured hands, cup the dough and pull it towards you to tighten its shape. Using a bench scraper, place the dough in the prepared basket, seam side up.


At this point, I like to put the dough in the refrigerator for anywhere from one to eight hours to set the structure and make scoring a breeze. However, if time does not allow, you may certainly continue with letting the dough rise for 30 minutes, until puffy but not yet doubled in size.

For the Pumpkin Design


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with a Dutch oven inside about 30 minutes before baking.


Cut four long pieces of twine, enough to go over the basket and hang generously on both sides. Place them over the basket in a crisscross. Place a cut piece of parchment over the basket and carefully flip the basket upside down. Rearrange the string before taking off the basket. Dust the top of the loaf with flour and insert a cinnamon stick in the center.


Tie both halves of each piece of string together to form eight sections, snipping off the extra string.


Score the loaf with the desired design of your choice. I chose to score every other section with eight small cuts down the side.


Remove the pot from the oven and carefully remove the lid. Gently lift the sourdough by the parchment paper and place inside the pot. Place the lid on and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the cover and bake an additional 30 minutes. Remove the bread from the pot and place in the oven to brown the edges for an additional 10 minutes.


Transfer to a cooling rack for one hour before slicing. This loaf will stay fresh for up to one day stored at room temperature.