Raised Pumpkin Bread with a Pumpkin-Pecan-Cranberry Swirl
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 4 HRS Plus cooling
- SERVINGS: Makes one large 10-inch loaf
- 1/4 cup whole milk, lukewarm
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
- 1 stick unsalted butter—6 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons melted
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups pure pumpkin puree
- 4 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 3 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- In a small bowl, stir the milk with the granulated sugar and the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes, until the yeast is foamy. Meanwhile, in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter with the brown sugar, salt, nutmeg and orange zest at medium-high speed until light in color, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute more. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated. Pour in the yeast mixture and beat at low speed to fully incorporate. The mixture will look curdled.
- Switch to the bread hook. Add the 4 3/4 cups of bread flour and knead at low speed until nearly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and shiny, about 8 minutes; it will be very soft, but it should not be sticky.
- Brush a large bowl with some of the melted butter and turn the dough out into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in bulk.
- Using a rubber spatula, mash the pumpkin puree with the softened butter in a small bowl. In a food processor, combine the turbinado sugar with the pecans, cranberries, cinnamon and ginger and pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 10-by-5-inch loaf pan. Press down the risen dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press it into a rectangle and sprinkle with flour. Roll out the dough to a 12-by-18-inch rectangle. Spread the pumpkin butter over the dough and sprinkle with the swirl mixture. Starting with a short side, tightly roll the dough up to form a 12-inch log. Pinch along the seam to seal. Fit the loaf into the prepared pan, seam-side down, tucking the ends underneath. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, until the bread has domed above the edge of the pan.
- Brush the top with melted butter and bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, until the top is a deep golden brown and the bottom of the pan sounds hollow when tapped. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 5 minutes; then unmold it onto a rack and let cool completely before slicing.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.