Monday, November 3, 2014

Crusty Pumpkin Rosemary Bread for #twelveloaves

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and run with the help of Heather of girlichef, which runs smoothly with the help of our bakers.

 Our host this month is Renee from Kudos Kitchen by Renee, and our theme is Pumpkin. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month's tempting selection of #TwelveLoaves Apple Breads!

This was my first time making and using a biga, also called a poolish. It takes a little bit longer, but made for a softer crumb. Delicious...and worth the effort!

Ingredients makes 2 loaves
Biga (a pre-ferment)

  • 3 1/2 C bread flour
  • 2 C water, room temperature
  • 1/2 t instant dry yeast
Whisk all the ingredients together and allow it to stand for at room temperature for between 6 and 36 hours; mine fermented for over 24 hours. The biga will begin to ferment, getting gassy and bubbly. You'll use 1-1/2 C biga for this bread recipe. The remaining biga can be stored in the fridge, covered. You can keep the biga alive by discarding some of the biga every couple of days, and adding an equal amount of water and bread flour and giving it a firm stir.

The Bread

  • 1 1/2 C biga
  • 1 1/2 C pumpkin puree (click here for how to make your own puree)
  • 3/4 C water, room temperature
  • 1 T fresh yeast
  • 1 T raw agave nectar
  • 4 1/2 C organic bread flour
  • salt for sprinkling
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, stem discarded for sprinkling

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the salt and rosemary. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. It took me about 8 minutes.

Place the dough in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, cover the bowl with a towel, and let the dough to rest for an hour.

After an hour, divide the dough in half. Roll the dough into a cylinder, tucking the ends of the dough neatly underneath to form a chubby baguette. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the log of dough to the sheet. Sprinkle the top with salt and rosemary. Space the loaves so they have room to rise. Let bread rise for 2 to 3 hours.

After three hours, the dough should be nicely puffed but not quite doubled in size.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slash diagonal cuts into the top of your bread. Drizzle with olive oil.

Place a pan of water on the bottom rack. Bake the bread for about 50 minutes. The crust should be browned and crisp. When you pick up the loaf, give it a thump on the bottom. It should sound hollow. Allow the bread to cool before slicing and tasting.

Now for the fun part. Here's what everyone else packed in our bread basket this month...

If you’d like to add your bread to this month's #TwelveLoaves collection, here’s what you need to do...
  1. Post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, making sure to mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post (this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts).
  2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of this blog. The bread MUST meet the Twelve Loaves theme (enter theme). 
  3. Share your Twelve Loaves bread (must be baked and posted this month) on your blog by enter the last day of the month.


  1. Such a beautiful loaf! I love that you added sounds divine!

  2. These loaves are fantastic! I bet they'd be right at home in a Thanksgiving bread basket.

  3. I am so tempted to join this group with you but I think I will wait until next year and see how my time frame is.

  4. Rosemary and this idea, Camilla !I agree with Heather-just perfect for Thanksgiving!

  5. How great that you showed how to make pumpkin puree. I took the easy way out and used the canned variety but I'm sure homemade is so much better! Rosemary and pumpkin sound like a wonderful combination of flavors. Thanks for baking along with us this month!

  6. That sounds so good, and the addition of rosemary is so perfect.

  7. Love that you've included agave in this recipe, Camilla. And the look and sound of crusty bread has this Ninja Baker smiling!

  8. Ah, rosemary… These look beautiful, Camilla. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  9. Love your combination of rosemary with the pumpkin! Yum.


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