A simple yeast bread made with pumpkin puree, and rich cream cheese.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Yeast Bread
This was a very tasty bread. It was moist, chewy, rich, and so good with butter. I was able to split the dough in half. I made a braid with one half, and a regular loaf, with the other half. It was delicious toasted the next day, with butter and pumpkin butter on top. This bread would be great as individual rolls, too. I used fresh pumpkin puree, but canned pumpkin puree would be just fine. You’ll need very basic ingredients for this bread: milk, brown sugar, fast rise yeast, pumpkin puree, regular cream cheese, salt, and flour.
Here’s what I did:
I always “proof” my yeast. This basically means, “activating” the yeast and jump starting it to make sure it will work. I heated up the milk, just until very warm (I don’t use a thermometer, I check with my finger. If it’s too hot for your finger, then it will be too hot for the yeast). If you’re using a thermometer, then the temperature should be 110 F degrees. Once the milk is warm, I mix in about 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar (the sugar helps to “feed” the yeast). Stir in the yeast. Allow the yeast mixture to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should become slightly foamy, with small bubbles on top.
Whisk together the softened cream cheese, remaining brown sugar, pumpkin puree, and salt. Stir in the flour, and yeast mixture. Stir until a dough forms. Knead the dough, for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic (keep extra flour on hand to sprinkle while kneading the dough). I placed the kneaded dough into a greased bowl, and coated the dough with a light layer of oil. I covered the dough and placed in a warm area, allowing the dough to rise, 1 hour.
Next, I punched down the dough, and split the dough in half. I placed one half into a greased loaf pan. I split the second half into 3 pieces, and rolled them into ropes. I braided the 3 ropes together, and placed on a greased baking pan. I let them rise in a warm area, until doubled in size. This can take up to an hour. Once the dough has doubled, I baked them in a preheated 350 F degree oven, for 35 minutes.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Yeast Bread – Makes 2 loaves
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
- 1 (1/4 oz.) package fast rise yeast
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (I used fresh pumpkin puree)
- 1 (8 oz.) package of regular cream cheese – softened
- pinch of salt
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + extra for kneading
Step One: Proof the yeast – Mix the warm milk (not HOT) and 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar together. Stir in the package of yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
Step Two: Whisk together the softened cream cheese, remaining brown sugar, pumpkin puree, and salt. Stir in the flour, and yeast mixture. Stir until a dough forms. Flour the counter, and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Or, until the dough has become smooth and elastic (sprinkle on more flour while kneading). Grease a mixing bowl with butter, or oil. Place the dough inside the bowl, and roll the dough to lightly coat in the butter, or oil. Loosely cover the bowl, and place in a warm area to rise, for 1 hour.
Step Three: Punch down the dough, and split the dough in half. Here are some options to choose from:
- You can place each half into two greased loaf pans.
- You can place one half into a greased loaf pan. Split the second half into three sections. Roll each section into a long rope. Press or pinch, the three pieces together at one end, and braid them together.
- You can place one half into a greased loaf pan. Pinch off 12 pieces, and place into a greased muffin tins.
- You can pinch of 24 pieces and roll into balls, to make rolls.
Allow the dough to rise for a second time, for 1 hour.
Step Four: Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Bake for 35 minutes. If baking in the muffin tins, or rolls, check them at 20 minutes.
Get in the kitchen, and bake up some memories!
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