This braided pumpkin bread is a loaf I’ve been making for years. You can use sweet potato or pumpkin puree in the recipe. I know that when you hear “pumpkin bread” you go straight to a quick bread like banana bread. Not so with this baby. This is a soft, tender yeast loaf that is totally delicious served along side a hot soup. My kids love that it is orange. The pumpkin flavor is subtle.
Yeast Breads vs. Quick Breads
Yeast breads require yeast for leavening, or the rising of the bread. Quick breads traditionally use baking soda or baking powder as the leavening agent. Yeast breads generally require a significant amount of time to rise, at least 1 hour or more, while quick breads require no rising time, but generally have a much longer baking time. The term “quick bread” is a bit of a misnomer. The bread is usually quick to get into the oven, but requires 45 minutes or more of baking time.
Watch the video below to see exactly how this recipe is made, including a visual demonstration of braiding the bread.
Braided Pumpkin Bread
- 2½ teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup warm milk
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3½ - 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Dissolve the yeast into the water in a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add in the pumpkin, milk, butter, egg, brown sugar and salt. Mix it until it is well combined.
- Add flour ½ cup at a time until a nice, soft dough forms.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes or so until is smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise about 1 hour.
- Divide the risen dough into thirds. Roll out each third into a long snake or rope (about 18 inches long). Lay the 3 ropes next to each other on a lightly greased baking sheet. One one end of the rope, pinch the 3 strands together and begin to braid. When you've braided the whole thing, pinch the remaining ends together.
- Cover and let rise another 30 minutes or so. Brush the braided dough with the lightly beaten egg.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
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