100% Whole Grain Spelt Pumpkin Sourdough Bread

Yep, I’ve heard that it’s not October any more, but since packed pumpkin puree is available all year round, I figured I’d share this recipe for whole grain spelt pumpkin sourdough bread. And never mind that the daffodils are about to poke through the ground.

I love love love rustic breads made with whole grains only – toasted crisp in the morning with a big pat of fresh butter. Nutrient dense, full of fiber and easily digestible because of natural fermentation, a slice of real whole grain bread keeps me cravings-free until the next meal. This rye spelt sourdough is one of my staples. If you are feeling old-World-adventurous, you can check out my 100% rye sourdough.

Pumpkin is for Pretty

The reason for using pumpkin is to add pretty color and additional nutrients. I think the appearance of food is important, and 100% whole grain wheat flour (spelt in this case) looks fairly boring – if not unappetizing – when used by itself. Using pumpkin doesn’t add much of the pumpkin flavor to the bread but it gives it beautiful orange hue that looks delicious. Plus, is there a better way to eat a vegetable? Well… when it comes to pumpkin maybe there is ๐Ÿ™‚ .

whole grain spelt pumpkin sourdough bread

HOW TO MAKE 100% WHOLE GRAIN SPELT PUMPKIN SOURDOUGH

Ingredients
2 cups (16 oz) pumpkin puree (I used Farmer’s Market pumpkin puree in carton)
1 cup warm water
3 heaping tablespoons starter (I use rye starter)
3.5 cups whole grain spelt (I use 5lbsย  VitaSpeltย  that I buy at Whole Foods for $9.99)
1/2 cup whole grain rye flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cranberries (I like this brand, it’s unsweetened) or raisins
1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions
Whisk together 2 cups pumpkin puree, 1 cup warm water and 3 heaping tablespoons of starter.

whole grain spelt pumpkin sourdough
Add sifted flour (3.5 cups whole grain spelt and 1/2 cup whole grain rye), 2 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt. I use a mesh strainer for sifting.

whole grain spelt pumpkin sourdough
Mix with a spoon until shaggy dough forms.
Add 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins and 1 cup chopped pecans.

whole grain spelt pumpkin sourdough
Using a wet hand or sprinkling dough with flour (wet hand is easier), knead dough into a ball.

whole grain spelt sourdough
Cover tight and leave at warm room temperature for about 6 hours, or until the dough rises and puffs up some. Don’t let the dough ferment longer than 8 hours, or it will get too sour. In warm weather, it would be easily done within 5 hours. Fermentative bacteria and yeast love whole grains and when you add pumpkin’s sugars to that, they go absolutely crazy.

whole grain spelt pumpkin sourdough
Sprinkle the dough generously with water and using wet hands, transfer the dough onto parchment lined baking sheet. Wetting hands often, shape it into a tighter ball. Cover with plastic, or a wet towel, and leave at warm temperature for 45 minutes.

whole grain spelt pumpkin sourdough
Preheat oven to 400ยบF, slash bread if desired, bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature for 350ยบF and bake 25-30 more minutes (internal temperature should register at 190ยบF).
Cool on wire rack.

whole grain spelt pumpkin sourdough

100% Whole Grain Spelt Pumpkin Sourdough Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Whisk together 2 cups pumpkin puree, 1 cup warm water and 3 heaping tablespoons of starter.
  2. Add sifted flour (3.5 cups whole grain spelt and ½ cup whole grain rye), 2 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt. I use a mesh strainer for sifting.
  3. Mix with a spoon until shaggy dough forms.
  4. Add 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins and 1 cup chopped pecans.
  5. Using a wet hand or sprinkling dough with flour (wet hand is easier), knead dough into a ball.
  6. Cover tight and leave at warm room temperature for about 6 hours, or until the dough rises and puffs up some. Don't let the dough ferment longer than 8 hours, or it will get too sour. In warm weather, it would be easily done within 5 hours. Fermentative bacteria and yeast love whole grains and when you add pumpkin's sugars to that, they go absolutely crazy.
  7. Sprinkle the dough generously with water and using wet hands, transfer the dough onto parchment lined baking sheet. Wetting hands often, shape it into a tighter ball. Cover with plastic, or a wet towel, and leave at warm temperature for 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 400ยบF, slash bread if desired, bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature for 350ยบF and bake 25-30 more minutes (internal temperature should register at 190ยบF).
  9. Cool on wire rack.
Notes
I love the tang of unsweetened cranberries but raisins add nice sweetness to this loaf, which goes really well with cream cheese.
The reason I use rye is not only to add more nutrient variety but also moisture - rye has the ability to bind moisture much better than wheat, which is important when baking with whole grains because they tend to dry out much faster.
This recipe is very forgiving in measurements, that's why I don't bother weighing ingredients in grams.

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2 Comments

  1. Can you substitue whole wheat for the spelt?