Well, the rainy season has officially arrived. This was the scene on my street last week:
And this is the scene on my street this week (intentionally out of focus to emphasize the extreme dreariness):
I won’t complain. I spent several hours in my kitchen yesterday baking bread, mixing granola, and formulating cookie recipes to feed the hungry treat monster who lives with me. Not too long ago I mentioned that I had a wonderful bread recipe to share and after testing it once more yesterday, I am finally ready to post about it – Rustic Pumpkin Seed Bread:
[This is, admittedly, an older photo of the same bread. I was too lazy to photograph my finished loaf yesterday - or, uh, too busy devouring thick slices spread with homemade strawberry jam!]
This loaf is really simple to make because you don’t need a bread pan. You just shape the dough into a round (or oval) and bake it on a cookie sheet. It’s rustic because of whole grains, pumpkin seeds, and the addition of molasses. The end result is a crusty exterior and a soft, chewy interior with pumpkin seeds flecked throughout. Thanks to the molasses and pumpkin seeds, you get a nice dose of iron! Try it with your favorite bowl of soup for the perfect dreary day meal.
*If your home is colder this time of year, try turning your oven on at the lowest setting for a minute or two. Turn off the oven and let your dough rise inside for the perfect draft-free, cozy environment!
Rustic Pumpkin Seed Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup warm water
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
Additional pumpkin seeds for sprinkling, if desired (about 1/4 cup)
- In a glass measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside until frothy, about 5-10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if you plan to knead by hand) stir together flours, salt, oat bran, and pumpkin seeds.
- Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir in the additional 1 cup of water, oil, and molasses.
- Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until a dough comes together. When it gets too difficult to stir, knead it with the dough hook on medium speed (or by hand on a well floured surface) for about 6-10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky, but easy enough to handle.
- Oil the bowl you mixed the dough in, shape the dough into a ball, and turn to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl and set in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1- 1.5 hours.
- Once the dough has risen, line a cookie sheet with parchment and dust generously with cornmeal. Punch the dough down, and shape into a round or oval loaf. Press the additional pumpkin seeds onto the top of the loaf (or roll the entire loaf in a variety of seeds for more texture). Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees once the dough has doubled in size (make sure to take out your dough if it is rising in there!).
- Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until it is dark golden on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.
Enjoy your rustic bread with a nice bowl of piping hot soup, like this Potato Rosemary Soup from Vegan Soul Kitchen!