Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Yeast Bread — Three Ways


One batch of bread dough, three different-yet-similar final breads. Brace yourself for a post of epic proportions. I'm not even kidding. This thing is LOOOONG. Ready? OK, good. Let's get to it.

I'll keep the words to a minimum because 1) I took a ridiculous amount of pictures so they'll take up a ton space and 2) let's face it, you'd *rather* look at (mostly) pretty pictures {I apologize in advance for the large number of blurry pics} and get to the good stuff, anyway — the recipes!

Let's start with the base — the dough.

pumpking dough-overflowing

It's vigorous. I hope you've got a big bowl.
("I hope you've got a big trunk, 'cause I'm gonna put my BIKE in it." Name that movie.)

Pumpkin Yeast Bread
adapted from King Arthur Flour

1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp SAF instant yeast or 2 packets of rapid rise yeast
2/3 cup warm (NOT HOT) whole milk (or 2%)
2 large eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups canned pumpkin (This is *almost* the entire 15oz can. I was tempted to just use it all. If you do, you'll just need to adjust the amount of flour needed.)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (can use light if you want, I just wanted a more robust flavor)
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon*
1/2 heaping tsp ginger*
1/2 tsp cardamom*
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground cloves*
1/8 tsp nutmeg*
4 cups bread flour
2+ cups whole wheat flour

*I'm very willy-nilly with my spices. I just sort of toss them in until it seems like the right amount, so these measurements are approximate. I know, not exactly helpful. Use what YOU like and how much you like. Remember this makes 2 LARGE or three good-size loaves, so what might seem like too much probably isn't. I LOVE cinnamon so I tend to go crazy with it. Disclaimer over.

In bowl of stand mixer, add 4 cups of bread flour, yeast, salt, spices. Mix until blended. Add water, milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and sugar. Beat well about 2 minutes. Add whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup at a time until the dough comes together and switch to the dough hook. Knead until the dough clears the sides (you'll need to scrape them down once or twice) adding just a little bit of flour at a time. The dough will eventually clear the bottom as well. The dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky and should be fairly smooth. This will take about 10 minutes all told.

Put dough in a large, oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap (spray the wrap with oil so that the dough won't stick when it BLOWS UP. *ahem*) and put int a warm spot to blow up double, about 1 hour.

Get ready for the FUN to begin.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Pumpking dough-divided

I divided this beast into three pieces, each weighing in around 20.5 ounces.

With the first piece, I made the easiest of the three — pull-apart bread. (Keep the other two covered while you work so they don't dry out.)

Pumpkin pull apart steps

Roll, slather, cut, layer, cut, stack, put in pan. Wait....

Pumpking pull apart-proofed

Told you it was vigorous. Here's the pan of pull-apart bread after about 45min to an hour. HUGE and ready for the oven.

Pumpkin pull apart bottom

Oh, gracious. Would you LOOK at the bottom of that bread. Dreamy.

Pumpkin pull apart baked

And here's the crunchy, sweet, cinnamon-y top. Equally dreamy.

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread
1/3 pumpkin bread dough
1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp butter, melted, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray, coating entire inside.
Using 1/3 of the pumpkin dough, pat into rectangle and roll out to approximately 18" x 10" or thereabouts. Mix together sugars and cinnamon in small bowl. Spread about 4 Tbsp of the melted butter over dough and cover completely with sugar mixture, reserving a tablespoon or two for topping.

Cut in half lengthwise and stack the two strips. Cut stacked strips in 2" sections. Stack these and place in well greased loaf pan. Drizzle remaining butter over the loaf and sprinkle reserved sugar over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until top crest the pan about 1/2" to 1", about 45 minutes.

Bake approximately 30-40 minutes, until internal temp of bread is 190°F. Top will get dark. Cover after 20 minutes to prevent it from burning or getting too dark.

Remove from oven and let rest on wire rack just a minute or two. Run knife around edges of pan to make sure it's not sticking, then turn out onto foil or parchment paper. Let it sit there for a minute or so to let the gooey goodness distribute a bit.  Flip again so the top is upright. Let cool slightly (5-10 minutes) before diving in. The sugar will be HOT and basically like caramel (oh, yeah) so it's easy to burn your fingers if you start devouring immediately. It'll be worth the wait.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Next up: Monkey Bread. But not just any old monkey bread. Oh, no. This is...

Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Monkey Bread

Did you're eyes just flutter and roll to the back of your head like you were going to pass out? It's ok. Mine did when I had the idea for this, then it was all I could do not to laugh like a mad scientist. "EUREKA! Bwah HA HA HAAAAAA!" *drumming tips of fingers together* I was just sure it was going to be amazing. I was right.

You're going to mix up a block of cream cheese with powdered sugar and spices.

cream cheese mixture

Then you roll out the dough in no particular size, just roll it to about 1/4" thickness but no more than that. Thinner is ok.

Pumpkin MB squares

Then cut into 1-1/2" to 2" squares. Cover most of the dough, then get to work. I'm not going to lie. This is time consuming, but oh so worth it.

Pumpkin MB squares-cc filling


Pumpkin MB shaping


Pumpkin MB coating

And repeat with all of the dough. Put in a greased bundt pan, cover and let rise...

Pumpkin MB in pan-proofed
Pumpkin MB in pan-detail


Pumpkin MB baked-detail

Nearly pass out again when you turn this out onto a serving plate...

Pumpkin monkey bread

Then bliss out when you take your first bite...

Pumpkin monkey bread-bite

It's best cooled to warm-not-hot. So, if you can resist, let it sit about 30 minutes.

Pumpkin monkey bread-crumb

Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Monkey Bread
8oz (1 pkg) cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 heaping tsp cinnamon

1/3 pumpkin bread dough
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
any other spices you like - ginger, cloves, cardamom - go crazy
1 stick butter, melted

Spray bundt pan with cooking spray, coating entire insides well.
Filling: In medium bowl mix all ingredients until smooth. I used my hand mixer, but you can mix by hand with a spoon, just make sure the cream cheese is room temp - it'll be easier that way.
Coating: Melt butter in small bowl. Mix sugars and spices in another small bowl. Grab a slotted spoon and a large regular spoon.
Roll dough to approx 1/4" thick but not more than that. Thinner is ok. Cut into squares, covering dough as you work. Place a dollop of cream cheese mixture in the center of the square then pull edges of dough around the filling, sealing as best you can. Roll into smooth-ish ball shape and put in butter. Scoop out with slotted spoon and tap on edge of bowl to drain excess. Drop into sugar bowl, turning to coat with regular spoon. Place in prepared bundt pan. Repeat with remaining dough layering the coated pieces as you go. You'll end up with extra cream cheese, butter and sugar mix. No worries. You'll use them in the next bread. OR if you're only making this bread, save them to slather on pancakes or toast!

Drizzle a little bit of butter over the pan of dough and sprinkle on a bit more sugar, too. Cover and let rise about 45 min.

Bake in 350°F oven 40-45 minutes or until internal temp is 190°F. Cover the pan with foil if it's getting too dark.

Remove from oven and run knife around all the edges. Grab a large plate or serving platter. Place on top of the bundt pan. With one hand on the bottom of the plate and the other holding the pan (with an oven mitt or towel) flip them together keeping bundt pan on top of the plate. Let the weight of the bread pull it it from the pan. You might need to tap it a bit. Slowly pull the pan off the bread and marvel and what you've just created. TA-DA!!!

Let cool about 30 minutes before eating. I know you're not going to, but that's OK. I didn't either. But it DID taste better once it cooled a bit. Bring this to Thanksgiving or your next get together. Be prepared for the deluge of compliments and the "OMG-this-is-amazing" you'll receive.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Are you still with me? I'm so glad. We're almost done and this one is super simple because we've got everything ready to go since we're using the leftovers from the other bread(s).

Pumpkin Cinn Swirl bread-shape

Roll, slather, sprinkle, rollup, seal, plop in pan, wait...


Pumpkin Cinn Swirl bread-crumb

Realize you didn't roll the dough tightly enough...

Pumpkin Cinn Swirl bread-void

Then shrug your shoulders and eat it anyway 'cause it's AWESOME.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Swirl Pumpkin Bread
Basically, this is a straight up cinnamon swirl bread but you use the cream cheese mixture in place of butter. Easy peasy. So if you take away anything from this post, just try this with your favorite cinnamon swirl bread recipe. You'll thank me.

1/3 Pumpkin bread dough
Cinnamon Sugar mix
Cream Cheese mixture (cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.
Roll out dough to approximately 10" x 10". Smooth cream cheese mixture over dough then evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mix. Roll dough pulling tightly to avoid gaping voids. Smooth edge into roll then pinch the ends to seal and tuck under. Place in greased pan, cover and let rise about 45 min or until dough crests edge of pan. Bake until internal temp is 190°F about 35-40 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Remove and place on cooling rack. Immediately turn out of pan on to rack. let cool before slicing and serving. Bread will smash and mush if you try to cut it while hot. This is really good toasted and I'm guessing it would make out-of-this-world French toast. Give it a shot!

WHEW! You made it all the way through. What a trooper. If you try any (or all) of these recipes, please let me know. I'd love to hear about it in the comments or shoot me an email.

ADDENDUM: I've linked this post up to the Red Star yeast Holiday Recipe Swap. Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Red Star Yeast.


  1. Hehe, I just read the pumpkin-cream cheese monkey bread idea to my hubby, and he started waving his hand in the sky like a crazy guy yelling, "Yes, please, yes, please!!" :) I'll let you know when we try it!

  2. Kelly, these look delicious. The monkey bread is brilliant and I love how the pull-apart bread looks.

  3. wow! What a post. I want to make all of these versions, but especially the pull apart bread - yum!!

  4. I saw your recipe on Foodgawker, when I traveled on over, I read your into...40 Year Old Virgin! I loved that line!

  5. These look amazing, thank you! Also, I always appreciate a 40 year old virgin reference :).

  6. B E A U T I F U L! 40 yr old virgin. ;-)

  7. Looks like I am gonna be busy at the firehouse on Saturday!!!! Hopefully we are slow so I can get these done!!!

  8. Luscious ideas, love pumpkin, and love your photography.

  9. If I make all of these at once my husband and I will go into a sugar comma. It would be way easier to make all the dough at once though. Will the starter dough freeze well for later use?

  10. Abby - Ha! Sounds like he might want you to make it. ;)

    Muffin Tin - Thank you! The pull apart is so fun - and delicious!

    Megan - Go for it!

    Katie - Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! You get the gold star for first to mention the movie reference. :)

    Caitlin - Thanks! Gotta love that movie.

    Ande B - Thank you!

    Anon - I hope you get a chance to make one or more of them. Have fun and let me know how it goes!

    eggplant43- Thank you so much!

  11. Eternal Student - Ha! I hear ya! I had to bring the goodies to work, and I froze the pull-apart bread.

    You can definitely freeze the dough. Once it's proofed, divide it how you want and freeze the portions you want to save for later. Put the dough in gallon freezer bags, one per section of dough. When you want to use it, you can pull it out and leave on the counter or you can defrost in the fridge then put it in a bowl to double. This will take around 4 or 5 hours, I'd guess, since the dough is chilled through and needs to warm up.

    The other thing you can do is bake the bread however you want, then freeze it already baked. Just wrap it really tightly in plastic wrap, then foil then put the whole thing in a ziplock. The monkey bread is probably not the best for this method, but the other two should work fine this way.

    Good luck, have fun!

  12. This looks amazing! I love the monkey bread...I just got a bundt pan and really want to make this!

  13. You are either an angel or the devil. Frankly, I don't care. I'm going to make all of these! Keep going!

  14. Oh my, I can't wait to try this.... all of them.. this weekend...just happen to have ALL the ingredients.... which NEVER happens to me... so, its sign, I think, that I HAVE to make all three!!! Thanks

  15. Any chance you had monkey bread left over the next day? We have pumpkin pie day at my office right before the Thanksgiving holiday and I was thinking of making this but since I get into the office at 6am I need something that I can make the night before.

  16. Mommy Tanya - I definitely had leftovers. I made this on a Sunday, forgot to bring to work on Monday, so I brought it in Tuesday. Still tasted fantastic. Got rave reviews.

  17. Lorraine - I'd say a little of both. ;) Have fun making (and eating) these!

  18. I just pulled these out of the oven - I made the monkey bread and the swirl loaf.

    My roommates' eyes lit up when they bit into the monkey bread. They ate a whole 2 loaf pans in under 15 minutes. You've made their year.

    We haven't tried the loaf yet, but it's so soft and smells so good, I think it'll be the perfect breakfast.

  19. Leyna Rae - Hooray!! I'm so glad you posted to let me know how it went. Sounds like your roommates were hungry! :) Enjoy your breakfast!

  20. Wow, each of these looks just so amazing! Thanks for linking up to our Fight the Flu blog hop. Come back next week to link up breakfast recipes!

  21. Holy CRAP these look amazing. All of them.

  22. This was a big hit at my office. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Very creative which should be what baking is all about. I did some pumpkin muffins over the weekend and the kitchen smelled better than the local bakery. While I had thought of a pumpkin yeast bread, I've never made one, so these definitely go on the list ;-)

  24. This was a great bread does take hours start to finish. BUT well worth it. Thank you for sharing. The only thing I did different was use tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice to make super pumpkin flavor and then on the last bread roll......did another cream cheese/powder Sugar/cinnamon/pumpkin spice frosting......olalala. Thanks again.

  25. The instructions for the dough in the first recipe is the dough for the monkey bread too, yes?

  26. Yep! Same dough for each of the variations.

  27. I got the wonderful idea to make a yeasted pumpkin bread this week as the summer weather turned into crisp, cool air. This menagerie of different recipes was the perfect go to! Everything got so yummy, the pull apart was my favorite. The pumpkin flavor was very subtle but worked oh so perfectly with all of the other flavors. Thanks for the great recipe!

  28. This recipe is exactly what I was looking for - thank you!!

  29. This recipe is exactly what I've been looking for - thank you!!

  30. In my part of the world canned pumpkin is unheard of. I have to order it from Amazon. Having just read these recipes, looks like I'll be putting an order in soon! The monkey bread looks amazing and I can't wait to bake it!


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