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Pumpkin Sourdough Bread

Pumpkin sourdough bread is perfect for fall baking because it has both pumpkin pie spice and dried cranberries. It also includes some pumpkin puree to give the bread a rich flavor that will make your house smell amazing while you bake.

It's fall, the leaves are changing, people are pulling plaid out of the back of their closets.

Starbucks line ups are getting longer, and everything.is.pumpkin.

I'm not above admitting that I can get behind a good pumpkin spice craze.

But I like my pumpkin with a side of carbs!

This pumpkin sourdough bread is dedicated to plaid!

A sliced loaf of pumpkin sourdough bread.
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Tips + Tricks

No. 1 --> New to sourdough? Need a starter? Check out my super EASY SOURDOUGH STARTER. It's ready in 24 hours!

No. 2 --> This recipe is written with a room temperature bulk ferment but this dough can easily be proofed in the fridge to help the baking fit into your schedule.

No. 3 --> Once I've preshaped my loaf and placed it on the parchment paper, I like to set it in a pot that is roughly the same size as the dutch oven I'm using.

No. 4 --> Grab a shower cap at the drugstore next time you're out! I use my polka-dotted shower cap a few times a week while making sourdough. It's a great, reusable cover for proofing sourdough.

Overhead view of baked pumpkin sourdough bread in a dutch oven.

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Key Ingredients

Sourdough Starter: use a fed and active 100% hydration starter. The sourdough starter should be very bubbly and risen at least twice its size since feeding.

Pumpkin Puree: can't have pumpkin spice sourdough bread without the pumpkin! This recipe works using canned pumpkin puree and homemade pumpkin puree. If your homemade puree is particularly watery, it would be prudent to drain off some of the liquid.

Ingredients required for pumpkin sourdough bread.

How To Make Pumpkin Sourdough Bread

--> Printable recipe card at the bottom of the post

Feed The Starter:

  1. Combine 60g hungry sourdough starter with 60g water, and 60g bread flour.
  2. Stir until the starter is completely combined, then set aside to rise.
  3. Once the starter has at least doubled in size and is full of bubbles, it is ready to use.

Start The Dough:

  1. Combine 100g active starter with 240g water and 200g pumpkin puree, stirring until smooth and mostly combined. Add in 500g bread flour, mixing until all the flour is incorporated. I usually stir with a spoon until the dough is too thick, then I switch to a bowl scraper to help lift and fold the dough to incorporate all the flour. Cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle 10g of salt over the sourdough, then perform a series of stretches and folds: with wet hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat 4 times. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch and fold process once more. Recover at set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup dried cranberries and 1 1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the dough. Complete 1 last stretch and fold to incorporate the added mixture. Less folding in the sugar mixture will result in pronounced ribbons as pictured above, more folding in will result in a more homogenized dough mixture.

Bulk Ferment + Pre-shape:

  1. Cover the dough and set it aside to bulk ferment for 10-12 hours, or until it doubles in size. You'll see in the photos that I use a pot for my bulk ferment. This pot is almost exactly the same size as my 3 qt dutch oven so I love to use it for all my proofing.
  2. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it onto a floured surface and pre-shape the loaf into your desired shape, place it seam side down on a piece of parchment paper. Cover and allow to rise for another 60-120 minutes.

Bake:

  1. While the dough is finishing the final rise, place a cast iron dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat together at 475f.
  2. Once the oven is heated, score your loaf as desired. Lift with the parchment paper as handles and lower into the preheated dutch oven.
  3. Bake the pumpkin sourdough at 475f covered for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and continue to bake until the crust has darkened, another 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove the sourdough from the dutch oven and cool on a wire mesh cooling rack until room temperature before slicing.

Baker's Schedule

Here's an example of my schedule for baking this irresistible pumpkin sourdough bread!

  • Day 1 -->
    • 12 pm: Feed my starter room temperature or cooler water. Set aside in a cooler place to activate.
    • 7 pm: Mix up the dough for pumpkin sourdough bread.
    • 8:30 pm: The stretching and folding process is complete, the sugar, cranberries, and pumpkin pie spice have been incorporated. Cover and set aside to rise for 10-12 hours, or until doubled.
  • Day 2 -->
    • 8 am: Turn the dough onto a floured surface, form into a boule and place seam side down on a piece of parchment paper. Place the boule into a bowl similar in size to your dutch oven. Cover and rise for 60-120 minutes.
    • 9:30 am: Set my favorite small dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat both together at 475f.
    • 10 am: Uncover and carefully score the surface of your boule. Then remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, lower the boule into the dutch oven. Recover then bake as per the recipe.

More Sourdough Recipes To Love

Batch + Storage Information

BATCH:

This recipe bakes a nice-sized loaf of pumpkin sourdough bread. This is the perfect amount for our family of 4 to serve with breakfast for at least 2 days.

STORAGE:

If you've got leftover sourdough, you've got serious willpower!

Your boule can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 12 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag once cooled.

Your sourdough loaf can also be frozen. To freeze, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap and allow to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

Two halves of a pumpkin sourdough loaf.

3 qt cast iron dutch oven: Much of the success of this bread depends on having a heavy ass cast iron dutch oven. It's one of those things you should already have, and if you don't have one, fix that! The little red one in these photos was my first piece of cast iron and something that started somewhat of a cooking revolution for us a decade ago.

A 3-quart CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN is a workhorse in the kitchen, and you'll find yourself reaching for it often.

Scale: It's really hard to make sourdough without a scale. Sorry, but them's the facts! bread baking and bread dough are a bit of a science. A GOOD KITCHEN SCALE will treat you well over a huge range of recipes, not just sourdough. Think of  HOMEMADE BACON!

📖 Printable Recipe

Overhead view of baked pumpkin sourdough bread in a dutch oven.
Yield: 1 loaf

Pumpkin Sourdough Bread

Pumpkin sourdough bread is a rich and delicious pumpkin flavored sourdough ribboned with pumpkin spice and cranberries. It's the perfect mix of spice and sweet.

Ingredients

  • 100g active sourdough starter
  • 200g pumpkin puree
  • 240g room temperature water
  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  1. Combine 100g active starter 240g water, and mix until mostly combined. Add in 200g pumpkin puree, stirring until smooth. Add in 500g bread flour, mixing until all the flour is incorporated. Cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle 10g of salt over the sourdough, then perform a series of stretches and folds: with wet hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat 4 times. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch and fold process 3 times total.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup dried cranberries and 1 1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the dough. Complete 1 last stretch and fold to incorporate the added mixture. Less folding in the sugar mixture will result in pronounced ribbons as pictured above, more folding in will result in a more homogenized dough mixture.
  4. Cover the dough and set it aside to bulk ferment for 10-12 hours, or until it doubles.
  5. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it onto a floured surface and pre-shape the loaf into your desired shape, place it seam side down on a piece of parchment paper. Cover and allow to rise for another 60-120 minutes.
  6. While the dough is finishing the final rise, place a cast iron dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat together at 475f.
  7. Once the oven is heated, score your loaf as desired. Lift with the parchment paper as handles and lower into the preheated dutch oven.
  8. Bake the pumpkin sourdough at 475f covered for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove the lid and continue to bake until the crust has darkened, another 15-20 minutes.
  10. Remove the sourdough from the dutch oven and cool on a wire mesh cooling rack until room temperature before slicing.

Notes

BATCH:

This recipe bakes a nice-sized loaf of pumpkin sourdough bread. This is the perfect amount for our family of 4 to serve with breakfast for at least 2 days.

STORAGE:

Your boule can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 12 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag once cooled.

Your sourdough loaf can also be frozen. To freeze, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap and allow to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

baker's schedule

Here's an example of my schedule for baking this irresistible pumpkin sourdough bread!

  • Day 1 -->
    12 pm:
     Feed my starter room temperature or cooler water. Set aside in a cooler place to activate.
    7 pm: Mix up the dough for pumpkin sourdough bread.
    8:30 pm: The stretching and folding process is complete, the sugar, cranberries, and pumpkin pie spice have been incorporated. Cover and set aside to rise for 10-12 hours, or until doubled.
  • Day 2 -->
    8 am: 
    Turn the dough onto a floured surface, form into a boule and place seam side down on a piece of parchment paper. Place the boule into a bowl similar in size to your dutch oven. Cover and rise for 60-120 minutes.
    9:30 pm: Set my favorite small dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat both together at 475f.
    10 am: Uncover and carefully score the surface of your boule. Then remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, lower the boule into the dutch oven. Recover then bake as per the recipe.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 395mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 3gSugar: 18gProtein: 7g

Did you make this recipe?

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Pumpkin sourdough bread pinterest graphic.

Share Your Thoughts

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Neena

Tuesday 19th of December 2023

Hi Ally, Love this sourdough pumpkin bread recipe. Each time I make, it tastes delicious. My family loves it as well. Any suggestions on substituting pumpkin purée with any other type of purée? Many thanks for the recipe.

Ally

Friday 29th of December 2023

Hey Neena! So glad you love this recipe, it is a favorite here too! I have not experimented with other purees, but I am dabbling with an apple cider recipe - can't wait to share that one once I've got it sorted!

Sharon Schwartz

Wednesday 8th of November 2023

Hi! I've made this wonderful bread several times now. I added 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips with great success!! My only issue is with the bottom scorching. My easy solution was to put a circular baking rack on the bottom of my Dutch oven. No more scorching!!!!! Thank you!!!!! Sharon

Ally

Monday 13th of November 2023

I love the idea of adding chocolate chips! Thanks for sharing!

When the bottom scorches on your loaf, where do you have the rack positioned in your oven? If it's near the bottom, you can try to move it up, but if you have no room, lots of people put a cookie sheet in the rack underneath to help create more indirect heat on the dutch oven - just in case you want to try a different method.

Sharon Schwartz

Sunday 22nd of October 2023

Oh. My GOODNESS!!! I made this today. The scent is absolutely the definition of Fall!!! The flavor is absolutely amazing!!! Used low sugar cranberries so maybe I don't feel as guilty eating it!!! This will be perfect with Thanksgiving dinner. Way to go!!!! Sharon

Ally

Monday 23rd of October 2023

AHH! That's awesome! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it :)

Mary KAy

Tuesday 26th of September 2023

Just found this, and this is now my new sour dough bread! Crusty on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. I made this to serve with dinner when my parents were over. I made some cinnamon honey compound butter to dress it. YUM! I have a little left over, and thinking it might make some fabulous french toast!

Ally

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Oh my gosh, both of those sounds like divine ways to serve your pumpkin sourdough! Thank you for sharing :)

Noelle

Tuesday 26th of September 2023

This was so delicious and the perfect texture. I made it yesterday with dried cherries and I’m just making it again.. gonna try chocolate chips this time. Thanks!

Ally

Tuesday 26th of September 2023

Oh I love that idea, Noelle! Glad to hear you love the recipe!

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