Almost No-Knead Crusty Pumpkin Bread

A take-off from the other “Almost No-Knead” bread recipes at our site, but this one uses bread flour + pumpkin purée for added moisture. By the way, the pumpkin provides a great color to the bread and the flavor is very subdued.   
This recipe makes two loaves. Bake both at the same time or refrigerate half the dough for additional fresh bread a couple of days later.

Almost No-Knead Crusty Pumpkin Bread   Makes 2 loaves
5 to 5 ½ cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water, divided
2/3 cup pumpkin purée – preferably homemade, but canned works, too
Vegetable oil spray
  1. Mix 5 cups flour, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the pumpkin puree with 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water. Whisk until completely combined and smooth.
  3. Add the pumpkin mixture and remaining 1 1/2 cups water to the bowl with the flour. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold the mixture to combine ingredients, scraping up the dry flour from the bottom of the bowl. Add extra 1/2 cup flour only if mixture is too —I did not need it. If mixture is too dry, add a little more water. Mixture should look somewhat "shaggy" but all flour should be incorporated.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.
  5. Lay an 18x12-inch sheet of parchment paper on the counter and spray it with the vegetable oil spray.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough 10 to 15 times. Shape HALF the dough into a ball by pulling the edges of the dough into the middle.  (SEE STEP #13  BELOW FOR WHAT TO DO WITH REMAINING HALF OF DOUGH.)
  7. Transfer the dough, seam side down, to the center of the oiled parchment paper and spray the surface of the dough with the vegetable oil spray. Pick up the dough by lifting the parchment paper overhang and lower it into a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Let any excess parchment paper hang out over the edge of the pot.
  8. Cover the pot loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.
  9. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Remove the plastic wrap from the pot. Lightly flour the top of the dough and using a sharp knife or a razor blade, make one 6” long, ½” deep slit along the top of the dough.
  10. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Heat the oven to 425°. Bake the bread for 30 minutes. Note: Bread is placed into a cold oven; set the timer for 30 minutes at that point—do not wait until the oven preheats.
  11. Remove the lid from the pot and continue to bake the bread until the loaf is a deep brown and registers 210° on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the bread, about 20 to 30 minutes longer.
  12. Using the parchment paper overhang, carefully remove the bread from the pot. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely, about 2 hours. (We usually do not wait that long.)
  13. REMAINING HALF OF DOUGH—Shape into a round as instructed in step #6 and place on parchment paper. Go ahead and bake or set into a bowl or pan, cover and refrigerate. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator, allow to set at room temperature about 2 hours and proceed with steps #7-12. Best if baked within 2 days of shaping and refrigerating.
Other Almost No-Knead breads include:
Almost No-Knead Bread (basic loaf)

Recipe without photos . . .
Almost No-Knead Crusty Pumpkin Bread   Makes 2 loaves
5 to 5 ½ cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water, divided 
2/3 cup pumpkin purée – preferably homemade, but canned works, too
Vegetable oil spray
  1. Mix 5 cups flour, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the pumpkin puree with 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water. Whisk until completely combined and smooth.
  3. Add the pumpkin mixture and remaining 1 1/2 cups water to the bowl with the flour. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold the mixture to combine ingredients, scraping up the dry flour from the bottom of the bowl. Add extra 1/2 cup flour only if mixture is too —I did not need it. If mixture is too dry, add a little more water. Mixture should look somewhat "shaggy" but all flour should be incorporated.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.
  5. Lay an 18x12-inch sheet of parchment paper on the counter and spray it with the vegetable oil spray.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough 10 to 15 times. Shape HALF the dough into a ball by pulling the edges of the dough into the middle.  (SEE STEP #13  BELOW FOR WHAT TO DO WITH REMAINING HALF OF DOUGH.)
  7. Transfer the dough, seam side down, to the center of the oiled parchment paper and spray the surface of the dough with the vegetable oil spray. Pick up the dough by lifting the parchment paper overhang and lower it into a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Let any excess parchment paper hang out over the edge of the pot.
  8. Cover the pot loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.
  9. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Remove the plastic wrap from the pot. Lightly flour the top of the dough and using a sharp knife or a razor blade, make one 6” long, ½” deep slit along the top of the dough.
  10. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Heat the oven to 425°. Bake the bread for 30 minutes. Note: Bread is placed into a cold oven; set the timer for 30 minutes at that point—do not wait until the oven preheats.
  11. Remove the lid from the pot and continue to bake the bread until the loaf is a deep brown and registers 210° on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the bread, about 20 to 30 minutes longer.
  12. Using the parchment paper overhang, carefully remove the bread from the pot. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely, about 2 hours. (We usually do not wait that long.)
  13. REMAINING HALF OF DOUGH—Shape into a round as instructed in step #6 and place on parchment paper. Go ahead and bake or set into a bowl or pan, cover and refrigerate. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator, allow to set at room temperature about 2 hours and proceed with steps #7-12. Best if baked within 2 days of shaping and refrigerating.

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