Recipe: Seeded Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Cool mornings call for a warm slice of bread bursting with fall flavor.

This loaf will stay fresh up to 1 day, stored at room temperature in a plastic bag. Recipe courtesy Deb Hopkins, adapted from “Artisan Sourdough Made Simple” by Emilie Raffa.

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

1/4 cup active starter
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons warm water
3/4 cup good-quality pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1 cup dried cranberries, plus more for coating
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped, plus more for coating
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch each of ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
4 clementines (or 1 orange), halved
1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds, for coating

1. In a large bowl, whisk the starter, water and puree together with a fork. Add flour and salt. Mix to combine until a stiff dough forms, then finish by hand until the flour is fully absorbed.
2. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
3. In a small bowl, add cranberries, pecans, sugar, vanilla and spices. Squeeze clementine juice over the cranberries and pecans. Stir well to combine. Do not drain.
4. After the dough has rested, add the cranberries and pecans, along with juice, to the bowl. Gently knead the fillings to incorporate filling, about 1 minute.
5. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise at room temperature for about 6 to 8 hours, or until double in size.
6. Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape it into an oval and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line a 10-inch oval proofing basket with a towel and set aside. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a damp kitchen towel.
7. With floured hands, gently cup the dough and pull it toward you to tighten its shape. Brush the surface and sides of the dough with water. Using a bench scraper, place the dough onto the pumpkin seeds, wet side down. Lift up the sides of the towel and rock it back and forth to coat the dough. Place the dough in the basket, seam-side up.
8. Cover the dough and let rest until puffy but not fully risen, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
9. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the size of your baking pot.
10. Place the parchment over the dough and invert the basket to release. Make a long cut down the length of the dough using the tip of a small serrated knife or a razor blade. Use the parchment paper to transfer the dough into the baking pot.
11. Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes, covered. Remove lid and tent with aluminum foil. Continue baking for 40 minutes. Cool for 1 hour before slicing. Makes 1 loaf

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