When ever I feel antsy or restless, I flit around the house. I barely sit still long enough to watch tv from commercial break to commercial break, or read a chapter in a book, or browse at stuff online.
I blame this on the fact that at school, I always feel like I should be doing something even if I really just need to relax. I’ve gotten a lot better at relaxing and winding down but sometimes I just need a release. Exercise is usually that release but I can only push myself in a workout so many times a day.
So I bake or cook. And one of my favorite energy releases is baking bread. Whether is a kneaded bread or a no knead bread, I love it. In the spirit of fall, I was craving something pumpkiny but didn’t want a pumpkin quick bread. It’s great in its own way, but I was just not in the mood for it.
With some quick
googling research, I found this recipe from King Arthur Flour.
I made a couple modifications like adding whole wheat flour and a touch of molasses, but the kneading was the key to my happiness. And the delicious taste of this bread.
Make it, then slather on some butter on warm slice.
Pumpkin Yeast Bread
Makes 1-2 loaves
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups puréed pumpkin, either fresh or canned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 1/2 cups (approximately) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, 2 cups white flour, 2 cups wheat flour, molasses, sugar, salt, ginger and cinnamon to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
Gradually add remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into loaves and place in well-greased 10 x 5-inch pans or, shape half into a loaf. (I did both but liked the free form loaf better). Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Loaves bake about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.