Pumpkin Breadsmith Challah

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[Note: This mostly defunct blog is not, in any way, a baking or cooking blog. But I needed somewhere to host this recipe, so here it is!]

Pumpkin Breadsmith Challah

Adapted from Breadsmith Challah & Pan de Calabaza in “A Blessing of Bread” by Maggie Glezer.


This recipe aims for the bakery-style lightness of the Breadsmith Challah with the gorgeous orange tint and Fall flavors of the Pan de Calabaza. Ideal for a sandwich loaf with a similar texture to a traditional loaf of white sandwich bread, but delicious instead of boring. The recipe requires a lot of work – but thankfully, the hardworking stand mixer does most of that work for you. Yields 2 9×5 loaves.


3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
570g (A bit more than 4 cups) bread flour
70g (1/3 c) white sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
2 large eggs (one for the dough, one for the glaze)
1 cup cold water (210 g)
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp ginger
1.5 tsp table salt (8g) + a pinch
115g (1/2 cup) pumpkin puree


  1. Mix together the vegetable oil and 70g of flour in a small bowl (this step makes it easier to incorporate the oil later).
  2. Add the remaining flour (500g) and all of the white sugar (70g) and yeast (1 tsp) to a stand-mixer bowl. Mix together with the paddle attachment of the stand-mixer for a few seconds.
  3. Add one egg to the flour-sugar-yeast mixture and beat with the paddle attachment until incorporated. Switch to the dough hook attachment.
  4. Add the cup of water, and the ½ tsps cardamom and ginger to the above mixture and mix with the dough hook on low for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the 1.5 tsp salt and mix for another 30 seconds to combine.
  6. Add the pumpkin puree and oil-flour mixture from step one to the mixer bowl. Mix with the dough hook on high (as high as it will reasonably go) for about 10 minutes. You might need to add a little more flour, if the mixture does not come together and start clearing the bowl. The dough will be sticky at the end, but hopefully not unworkably so.
  7. Transfer to an oiled bowl or rising container and cover. Let ferment for 1.5-2 hours.
  8. Lightly oil two 9×5 loaf pans.
  9. Separate the dough into six equal pieces. Form into balls and let rest for a couple minutes.
  10. Roll each ball out into a strand, ideally about 10″ long. You may need to use a fair bit of flour to roll out the dough.
  11. Make the first loaf by braiding together three of the strands. Place inside the first 9×5 loaf pan. Repeat for the second loaf.
  12. Cover the loaf pans lightly with plastic wrap and let the dough proof again for 1.5-2 hours. Turn the oven to 350 at some point in there.
  13. Beat final egg in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Brush loaves with egg wash. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until outside is golden and inside registers 190 degrees.
  14. Remove from loaf pans to cool on rack. Wait about an hour before cutting into them!
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