Pumpkin Yeast Bread

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.

Enjoy!

A Fall Favorite: Acorn Squash

Yesterday I needed some home comfort.

I took an exam last night that just threw me off. I can’t even tell you how, but it just got me into a funk. I’m not usually like this and felt prepared going in so this was a weird situation.

I came home and baked my brains out making a version of these. So delicious and even though I didn’t have powdered sugar, I just made a brown butter glaze for the cookies (Oh my goodness, brown butter is SOOO amazing). And I might have consumed a small handful.

But that’s not the best part of last night.

This is: Acorn Squash

This weekend I saw some acorn squash at the grocery store and picked one up. My favorite way to eat them is baked with a little butter and brown sugar in the middle. It’s still healthy and just a little sweet and luscious.

A little while later, it occurred to me that this was one of my comfort foods. The first time I had an acorn squash was cooked like this, my freshman year of college. I was home on fall break and having a touch time adjusting to school. Being 5 hours away was tougher than I thought and while I managed, it was just so comforting to be home.

That cool October night, my mom pulled out some acorn squash, and when I gave her a strange look, she explained what she was going to do. The way I remember it, she acted as though she’d done this plenty of times before but honestly this was the first time I ate this deliciousness.

Just cut your acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds and bake cut side down a baking sheet for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Take them out, flip them over, and put a pat of butter and sprinkle some brown sugar in the middle. Bake for an additional 30 minutes and enjoy!

Look at all that deliciousness

Back to last night: Looking back at my little evening treat made me smile and realize that something so small can provide so much comfort.

That and ten cookies. 😉

So question time: What’s your comfort?

Breakfast this morning…

PANCAKES!

 

specifically Greek yogurt pancakes smothered in almond butter and bananas.

Delicious and a great start to the (almost) weekend.

Makes 1 serving or approx. 2 pancakes

1/2 cup flour

1T protein powder

1T egg whites

1/4 greek yogurt

Mix together and pour into pan. Cook until bubbles start to form, flip and cook until golden brown.

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Welcome to FoodNook!

Hi! I'm Kristina and a college student who loves food, eating, fitness, and variety of other fun things! I have a combined love of food and fitness and trying to balance it all into my busy life. FoodNook is my way of documenting my experiences and adventures in navigating healthy living on my own and trying out new things.