January 11, 2016
There are few things in life that can put my stressed mind a ease quicker than baking bread. It has something basic and satisfying to bake your own bread. The smell when you open the oven. The crackling sound when the bread cools down. The feeling when you slice through the crunchy crust for the first time and eat the first slice without any topping to get the fresh, yeasty taste.
To spice things up a little I try to go with different seasonings [rosemary, thyme, …] or add-ins [dried tomatoes, olives, nuts, seeds, …] But this one is a little different. You can substitute even more water with pumpkin puree if you’d like a stronger pumpkin flavor.
If you don’t use store bought pumpkin puree [like me – because you can’t buy that in Austria], peel the pumpkin, cut into small cubes and cook with a little water until tender before smashing with a fork.
_ combine all ingredients in a bowl
_ knead until you get a smooth and slightly sticky dough [add more flour or water if needed]
_ place in a floured bowl
_ cover and leave to rise for 12 to 18 hours [in a warm place until twice the size]
_ dust a work surface with flour
_ scrape dough out of the bowl and divide into desired amount of pieces [you can keep it in one piece as well]
_ roll each piece into a round ball
_ place dough balls onto a floured surface
_ leave to rise for another 1 to 2 hours
_ heat a dutch oven to 230°C
_ once hot carefully place one of the bread balls into the dutch oven
_ cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes
_ remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes
_ remove bread from dutch oven and cover in a kitchen cloth
_ leave to cool completely