Pumpkin-Shaped Sourdough Loaf
For a fun twist on a classic sourdough loaf, shape it into a pumpkin. It’s very easy!
(Note: a short how-to video for this post is available in my Instagram page.)
Before this year’s Thanksgiving is officially over and while the scent and taste of today’s feast still linger, I’m sharing this pumpkin-shaped loaf from my Thanksgiving table. Following my usual baking schedule, the dough was fermented the day before and stored in the refrigerator overnight. This morning when I found myself–surprisingly–with a bit of extra time, I decided to have a little fun with my dough.
I wish I could say I came up with this delightful idea to shape dough like a pumpkin but I’m merely a copycat. When you follow as many bread pages/accounts as I do, these beautiful ideas pop up constantly and are impossible to resist.
What You’ll Need for Pumpkin-Shaped Bread
For this bread you will need a round banneton (proofing basket), kitchen twine, a pair of scissors in addition to the usual parchment paper and scoring tool. If you only have oval bannetons you can use a round bowl or a colander lined with linen.
How to Create the Pumpkin Shape
It may look complicated to manipulate dough to get this squash-like silhouette but it’s very easy. In fact, I’ve shared a video on my Instagram page to show how it’s done. After shaping your dough into a round you can continue with your overnight cold retard (or bake same day if that’s your normal process). When you’re ready to bake, cut strips of kitchen twine and arrange over the dough still in the proofing basket. Place a piece of parchment paper on top and flip over the counter. You can sprinkle more flour on the dough for more contrast on the finished product but this is optional. Tie the twine loosely over the top of the dough, trimming the excess. Score the dough using tiny slashes along each dough wedge then bake. When the loaf has finished baking remove the twine and allow to cool as usual. You can “finish” the pumpkin look with a cinnamon stick to look like a stem and/or leaves from your garden like I’ve done here.
You can use your own sourdough recipe or any in this blog if you have a favorite. While I’ve kept things simple here–this is just a basic 25% whole wheat sourdough loaf–you can elevate your bread by incorporating pumpkin flavor into the dough. You can mix in pumpkin puree or pumpkin spice or pumpkin seeds or all of the above but it’s all optional. In this case, it’s all about the fun display.
As for next year, I just might just have to start practicing for this turkey-shaped loaf.
Pumpkin-Shaped Sourdough Loaf
For a fun twist on a classic sourdough loaf, shape it into a pumpkin. It's very easy!
In addition to the usual bread ingredients from the recipe you choose…
- cinnamon stick (or twig) to act as a stem
- leaves for decoration, optional
How to Create the Pumpkin Shape (use your favorite sourdough recipe and normal baking instructions.)
When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven. With the dough still in the banneton, cut strips of kitchen twine long enough to wrap around the dough. You can use four or five strips. Arrange the first piece of twine along the center of the dough (still in the banneton). Lay the rest so that you have eight or ten equal sections/wedges.
Place the piece of parchment paper on top of the basket and on top of the arranged pieces of twine. Spread your hand or a small board over the parchment paper and flip the banneton, laying it gently on the counter. Remove the banneton. Smooth the flour on top of the dough. You can also add more as needed to create more contrast after baking. Tie each piece of twin in a loose knot over the center of the dome of the dough, trimming the excess. Score the dough with short diagonal slashes covering each dough wedge (or choose any pattern you like). Bake as usual. When the bread is done, remove the twine and allow to cool. Finish the bread with any decorative trim you like. I've used a cinnamon stick to act as a stem.