A big bread for a big storm

Baking bread is always a comforting thing do to, especially in the wake of an upcoming monster storm like the one that will hit the East Coast of the United States tonight.

I just pulled a large loaf of bread from the oven. This is a new variation with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, my latest culinary discovery and a specialty from Austria. I was lucky enough to find the real thing at our local supermarket for a decent price.

A small bottle of the intensely flavored dark, nutty oil goes a long way. Pumpkin seed oil is only drizzled onto salads, soups and desserts. I have also added it to a homemade pumpkin frozen yogurt and will post that recipe soon though that will have to wait. Now I better bring in the potted plants and help with the other storm preparations…

Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Seed Bread with Pumpkin Seed Oil

I let the dough rise in a bread rising basket sprinkled with cornmeal. You can also shape it into a large round loaf, or divide the dough in two and bake it in two greased loaf pans.

Sponge:

2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm beer (leftover beer is fine) or water

1 cup cracked wheat

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup whole-wheat flour

Dough:

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons gluten

1¼ cups water

2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil

¾ cup hulled pumpkin seeds

Cornmeal (optional)

1. Mix the yeast and the beer in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

2. Mix the flours, salt and gluten and add to the sponge. Gradually add the water and the pumpkin seed oil. With the kneading attachment of the electric hand mixer, or with the stand mixer with kneading hook set on low, knead until an elastic dough forms. At the end, incorporate the pumpkin seeds until well distributed. If the dough is too dry, add a little warm water; if it’s a little tacky, don’t worry and please don’t add more flour, otherwise the bread will be too dry.

3. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Turn the dough over once so it is evenly coated and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1.5 hours.

4. Sprinkle a rising basket or a baking sheet with cornmeal. Knead the dough briefly but vigorously to remove any air pockets. Shape into a long log and place it in the rising basket.

5. Let rise for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

6. Flip the bread from the rising basket onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat. Place it in the preheated oven and spray the bread with water. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. If the bread makes a hollow sound when you knock on the bottom, it’s ready. Remove from the pan and let cool on a cake rack.

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2 thoughts on “A big bread for a big storm

  1. What a delicious looking loaf! I never tasted bread with this wonderful pumpkin seed oil, even though I really do like the oil.

    Keep my fingers crossed that the storm will not hit you so much as they say in the weather forecast… I will need warmers tomorrow in the Berlin region…

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