Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread


With the great deals on pumpkin and other post-holiday ingredients right now, it’s a great time to share one of my favorite breads.  Pumpkin cornmeal is a nice change from traditional rolls or even traditional cornbread.  Make just a batch for dinner or make a few loaves to last a while. This recipe lends itself well to a little spontaneous nuttiness, as well. Bake one loaf plain, and then get creative with the other. Adding pepitas is a nice addition to the loaves, but my kids like it most when I toss in a few handfuls of chocolate chips. I like a combination of cranberries and walnuts. Yum!

Enjoy your time sharing and creating new memories by baking today!

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Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread

1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
Pinch of sugar
1 cup warm water
1 cup warm buttermilk
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup whole rye flour
4-5 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour

In a small bowl dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water.

In a large bowl combine the warm buttermilk, melted butter, molasses, pumpkin, salt, cornmeal and rye flour. Mix to combine.

Add the yeast mixture and, if using an electric mixer, beat for about one minute. If making by hand, beat until everything is combined and looking smooth.

Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Keep adding until a nice, soft dough has formed. In an electric mixer you will stop adding flour when the dough clears the sides of the bowl, if making by hand the dough should be soft and not sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for about three minutes. Add a little flour, say a tablespoon, to prevent sticking. Place dough in a oiled bowl and cover with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Turn the dough onto the work surface and make loaves, rounds or rolls. To make dinner rolls, divide the dough in half. Divide each into 12 equal portions. Using your hands roll each dough ball into an 8-inch-long rope. Starting at one end, wind the dough around itself to form a spiral. Tuck the ends under. Place on parchment or silicone-mat-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Cover again and let rise for about 30 minutes. You can also place the rolls in the refrigerator at this point. Take them out when you are ready to bake the next day, just allow to come to room temperature, usually 20 minutes or so before baking.

Bake in a 350-degree oven. Loaves or rounds should take about 45 minutes, dinner rolls about 15.

Andrea Charroin was a trained baker and pastry chef in San Francisco before she and her family moved to Redding 11 years ago. After falling in love with Redding’s downtown, Andrea and husband Westley opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie, across from the Cascade Theatre. For the three years Rene-Joule was in business, it was renowned for making everything from scratch, using the best ingredients and keeping with a seasonal menu. To this day, Andrea is asked about her Marathon Bars, Orange Twists and sourdough bread.

Copyright 2009 Andrea R. Charroin. Visit her blog at bakerslove.typepad.com

Andrea Charroin
Andrea Charroin is a trained baker and pastry chef. She worked in San Francisco before she, her husband, Westley, and their two sons moved to Redding. They fell in love with Redding’s downtown and opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie.
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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Adrienne jacoby says:

    I was so sorry to see Rene-Joule go. having spent considerable time in Italy, the patisserie's were a part of daily life. Unfortunately the foot traffic in that part of town and at that time, didn't lend itself quite so well to the ambience as do the streets in Europe . . . but we're getting there, we're getting there.

    COME BACK, LITTLE RENE . .. uh . . . guess that's a different movie.

  2. Avatar Adrienne jacoby says:

    P.S. ran across a great recipe for pumpkin-pear bread pudding. Another use for holiday left overs. Sorry about the misplaced comma in the above post.

  3. Avatar Canda says:

    Andrea, by pumpkin puree, do you mean canned pumpkin? I can't wait to try this!