Pumpkin Sourdough Loaf

My cousin Barb inspired me to take the plunge into the word of sourdough. I’ve not baked much bread, let alone sourdough bread, but last week I stirred together some flour and water and began my sourdough starter. I’m using the King Arthur Flour sourdough starter recipe, and as Barb said, it’s sort of like having a pet. I’ve decided to call him Horatio, which means timekeeper, and I feed him more flour and water twice a day.

Part of sourdough starter maintenance involves discarding a portion of your starter and adding more flour and water to keep the friendly bacteria and wild yeast in your mixture working together to help the starter rise. At a certain point in development, you can start to bake with your “discard,” so I decided to give it a try with this loaf, adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Pumpkin Spice Bread simply by the omission of raisins. The end result, while not as high-rising as the one in the KAF blog post photo, has a lovely spiced pumpkin flavor and nice texture.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin purĂ©e
  • 3/4 cup sourdough starter discard
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf tin.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together vegetable oil, sugar, molasses, eggs, pumpkin, sourdough starter discard, and vanilla. Pour into flour mixture and stir until combined, then stir in walnuts.

Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Store at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for several days. Makes 16 slices.