Flavored with caramelized onion and some dried herbs, this Pumpkin Shaped Bread will bring a wow factor to your Holiday Dinner Menu. You need no special gadget, just baking twine to shape the bread. It's a fun to shape, and you can even make multiple small dinner rolls instead of one big bread.
Pumpkin Shaped Bread
If you have been following me for a while now, you would know that I love baking bread. This is however my first time shaping bread into a giant pumpkin, and it was so fun.
It may not be the perfect pumpkin shaped, but I loved shaping it, and this will happen on repeat for a while now.
Is there pumpkin purée in the Bread?
There is no pumpkin purée in the bread, but you can definitely add some along with pumpkin spice mix.
This Pumpkin Spiced Bread has caramelized onion which added a mild sweetness to the bread along with the dried oregano.
Are there eggs in this Pumpkin Shaped Bread ?
This is not a brioche bread, so I did not add any egg or milk. It's a soft artisan bread prepared with yeast, water, oil and flour.
It is a very fuss free recipe. You can either use a stand mixer to prepare the dough in a mixing bowl.
Steps to prepare the bread
Depending on the variety of yeast you are using, you will either have to activate the yeast separately in warm water, or you can add it straight away with the flour and start preparing the dough.
Instead of kneading the dough for 10 to 12 minutes, I prefer to let it rest and use the technique of folding the dough in between a few times. This helps to develop the gluten slowly, and the folding creates delicate layers.
While the bread is resting, prepare the caramelized onion and let it cool down.
Once the bread dough has developed enough gluten and the dough stretches comfortably, stretch the dough into a rough rectangular shape and spread the caramelized onion.
Then fold the dough like an envelope and shape it into a round ball.
Let it rest for 5 minutes, then shape it into a pumpkin by using the baking twine.
Shaping the Bread
You can either take one long baking twine and then keep wrapping it around the dough, or cut multiple strips and layer it on a parchment paper in crisscross format.
KEY TIP: Dip the baking twine in oil for a while before you tie it around the dough.
Then place the dough on it and tie the twine loosely in the center.
Remember to tie loosely, as the dough will rise as it rest for a while before you bake.
You can also divide the dough into small portions and make multiple pumpkin dinner rolls.
Baking the Bread
Preheat the oven to 475 F
It's best to bake in a Dutch pan cover with a lid. But you can also bake in a cookie sheet covered loosely with an aluminum foil.
The bread is baked covered for 30 minutes and then uncovered for 15 minutes to get that golden color on top.
KEY TIP: Let the bread cool down before you remove the baking twine and slice the bread. Don't ever slice bread while it's still warm. It ruins the texture of the bread.
Shaping the bread like a pumpkin definitely has its own charm during Thanksgiving or Christmas, but you can always just keep it rustic round.
The texture of the bread is delicate light with the golden crust and the caramelized onion adds a mild sweetness too.
Pumpkin Shaped Bread with Caramelized Onion
- 1.5 cups luke warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 and ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 and ½ cup all purpose flour (plus extra to dust and shape the bread)
- 1 and ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano.
- Mix the sugar and yeast with the luke warm water and leave it aside for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate. (If you are working with yeast for the first time, keep in mind that the yeast will not dissolve in water, you need to just give a quick stir and leave aside)
- Once the yeast is activated, add it to the flour along with salt and mix it around to form the dough. You can either use your hand or use a stand mixer with the dough hook attached.
- Knead the dough for 3 minutes and then cover it with a clear wrap or a kitchen towel. Place it in a warm area for 1 hours. You can place it in the oven (switched off but light on).
- After an hour, take the dough to a counter and wet your hand a little. Wetting your hand will avoid the dough from sticking to your hand. Just pull the dough from one side towards upward and then fold on the other side. Repeat this on all the four side. Repeat this technique twice. It creates delicate layers.
- Drizzle oil in a mixing bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Massage with little oil on top and cover the dough. Let it rest for 2 hours or when it doubles in size.
- In the meantime, thinly slice the onion and slow cook it with 2 tablespoons oil and little of salt. Slow cook until it's caramelized. Once done, keep aside to cool it down.
- Once the dough has double in size, take it to the table and dust a little flour. Then stretch the dough into a rough rectangular shape.
- Spread the caramelized onion and the dried oregano. Now lift one side and fold it half way, gently press the edges to seal. Repeat the same with the other side. Then fold it from bottom to top. Now tug the folded dough on all the side to a form a round shape. Some filling might ooze out, and it's ok.
- Next, cut 4 pieces of bakers twine into 20″ long pieces. Rub oil on the twine and arrange in a criss-cross pattern on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Transfer the dough on top of the criss-cross baking twine. Tie each string around the loaf loosely. Place a clean kitchen towel on top and leave aside for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, the dough would expand, forming the pumpkin shape. Using a sharp scissor, make small snips on the dough to create the texture. (This is optional)
- Preheat the oven to 475 F
- Cover the dough with a Dutch casserole or aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 15 minutes.
- Let the bread cool down completely, then remove the twine and enjoy the bread with the choice of your dip or soup.