Search

How to shape a sourdough loaf into a pumpkin

Jump to Recipe

Fall has finally arrived! and that means I want everything pumpkin-flavored and PUMPKIN SHAPED! yes, that includes sourdough bread as well! Today I will show you how to shape a sourdough loaf into a pumpkin. This loaf is pumpkin-shaped, this loaf does not have a pumpkin flavor. I will take a sourdough loaf and turn it into a pumpkin. This pumpkin sourdough bread will transform your Thanksgiving table to look more festive. 

a sourdough loaf shaped into a pumpkin is cooling on a black cooling rack on white quart countertop and a small fake pumpkin, bakers twine, and a jar with cinnamon sticks next to it.

Baking a loaf of sourdough bread is pure therapy. Not only will it fill your kitchen with delicious smells of yeasty goodness. This crusty no-knead bread will become something you bake for your family for every holiday. Turning a sourdough loaf into a pumpkin is a fun twist for the holidays! 

Timing:

  1. 8 am feed your sourdough starter
  2. 1 pm mix your sourdough – or whenever your sourdough starter reaches its highest peak.
  3. 6 pm put it in the fridge
  4. 6 pm the next day you can bake your loaf. 

BREAD MAKING TOOLS

  • Food scale- There is one tool that in my opinion is necessary, and that’s a food weight scale. When it comes to baking sourdough bread, precision is key! There’s no better way to measure accuracy than using a digital food scale.
  • Banneton basket- Proofing baskets and a scoring tool are nice to have but are not necessary.
  • Jar- A good jar to grow your sourdough starter is also important!
  • Dutch oven- And last but not least you will need a Dutch oven. A Dutch oven helps the bread to get the delicious crunchy crust that sourdough bread is famous for. Without a Dutch oven, it will be hard to achieve this. Ok! Now that you have all your tools, let’s start to bake!
  • Baker twine-  (butcher string) This food-grade twine is what is going to give our loaf the pumpkin shape while it bakes
  • cinnamon stick–  this will be the stem of the sourdough pumpkin loaf
s sourdough loaf shaped like a pumpkin with a cinnamon stick as a stem on a black cooling rack on quartz countertops

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO BAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD

Sourdough bread consists of a few basic ingredients you already have in your pantry! flour, water, salt, and LEAVENED sourdough starter. First of all, you will need a good mature starter. As I already talked about this previously, a starter is your rising component in bread making. Without this, your bread will NOT rise.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1,000 grams of bread Flour – all-purpose flour will work too
  • 650 grams of filtered water
  • 20 grams salt
  • 200 grams active sourdough starter (fed in the last 12 hours)

Pin it for later!

how to shape a sourdough loaf into a pumpkin pin for Pinterest with a picture of a sourdough loaf shaped into a pumpkin on a cooling rack

PRO TIPS:

These tips I bring to you after some trial and error, I made the mistakes so you don’t have to!

  • First- the most essential tip is, to make sure to use an active sourdough starter (bubbly) If you are not using a starter you fed 4-12 hours prior, This will not work. It’s best to use a starter while it is at its peak! (meaning, feed your starter water and flour. Give it a good mix, then leave it on your countertop until it doubles in size)
  • My second tip is, don’t mix your sourdough starter with too much water. When your sourdough starter has too much water the starter will become foamy on top and might not get the best rise. I have baked with it in the past anyway, and it makes your bread flatter than usual. A good ratio for a sourdough starter would be, 50g sourdough starter, 200g water, and 200g flour.

IS YOUR SOURDOUGH BREAD BURNING FROM THE BOTTOM WHEN BAKED?

  • Placing something between your Dutch oven and the base of your oven can lower the heat transfer underneath. Try leaving a sheet pan on the lower rack than the Dutch oven.
  • Another trick to prevent sourdough bread from burning is, to cut out a silicone mat to fit your Dutch oven. And place it on the bottom of the Dutch.

THIS RECIPE MAKES TWO LOAFS

If you only need one loaf, you can cut this recipe in half. Trust me when I say “You will want to make two loaves” I often find myself doubling this recipe. You can bake one loaf one day and leave your other loaf in the fridge unbaked for up to two weeks. The longer it stays in the fridge the better it gets! The phrase “It gets better with age” applies to sourdough as well.

How to shape a sourdough loaf into a pumpkin

Step 1: Make your bread dough

  • In a large mixing bowl add 1,000 grams of flour, 200 grams of active sourdough starter, 650 grams of warm filtered water, and 20 grams of salt. For the next part I like to use the best tool there is, my hands! wash your hands and give this a good mix. You don’t want to knead the dough, you want to combine all the ingredients together till there is no dry streaks of flour. After a good mix, close the bowl with a lid and let the sourdough bread mixture rest for 30 minutes. 
  • After 1 hour- you will stretch and fold the sourdough. Gluten relaxes over time, this step will help to build up the gluten and give it strength and shape. Once you have stretched and folded all sides of the sourdough, cover it with the lid and let rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat this process 3 times.
  • After 3 sets of stretch and folds, gently take out the sourdough on a clean countertop. Do not dust any flour on the countertop. Once the dough is out of the bowl, take a bench scraper and divide the dough into two equal pieces. Once it is divided- cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  • Once the dough rest for 10 minutes you will work with one loaf at a time. Take your first dough and with your hands stretch the sourdough out on a clean countertop. You will NOT need to wet your hands for this step. it will be a little sticky, but make sure to not add any additional flour. if the sourdough is too sticky to work with use your bench scraper to help. Next, take one side of the sourdough and fold it over to the center, then fold over the opposite side. Once the two sides are folded, roll the dough into a ball. then seal the ends. Tuck the ends underneath the dough to form a ball. After the sourdough is formed into a ball start to twist the dough on the table to create tension on the bottom. This helps to close up any open holes. Repeat the same process on the other dough.
  • Now that your sourdough is shaped into a round shape- lightly flour your round banneton, you can use flour or rice flour (if you are not using proofing baskets then take a bowl and line it with a tea towel) flip your sourdough with the bottom facing up into your basket or bowl. Pinch to seal any holes. Dust the Sourdough ball with a little bit of flour, then cover it with plastic wrap (or I use these shower caps) place it inside a plastic bag, and then tie the bag so air doesn’t get inside. Place in the fridge for overnight fermentation (bulk fermentation). Repeat the same process for the other loaf.
sourdough loaf shaped into a boule in a banneton basket dusted with flour on top on marble table

An unbaked loaf can cold proof ( bulk ferment) in the fridge for up to 5 days. The longer it ferments in the fridge the more “sourdough” flavor will come through. I did notice that after day 3 the loaf doesn’t get the best rise as it bakes, nonetheless, the loaf still turns out delicious. 

TIME TO BAKE YOUR SOURDOUGH BREAD INTO A PUMPKIN

Step 2: Create a pumpkin shape

  • Place a Dutch oven into the oven with the lid closed and preheat the oven to 500F. While your oven is preheating (with the Dutch oven inside) take out a piece of parchment paper and lay it out in front of you on a countertop. Cut 4 pieces of kitchen twine about 36″ long. Tip: Soaking or coating the string in olive oil will help them not stick to the dough. Spread the twine out on the parchment paper.
a wooden cutting board sitting on a white quartz countertop with parchment over it and bakers string arranged onto it into equal piece's
  •  Take your loaf out of the fridge and gently flip your dough onto the parchment paper. Spread the twine evenly to create eight lobes of the sourdough pumpkin. See the photos below.
  • Lightly and evenly dust the surface of the dough with flour and then spread it with your hands. This will help prevent the string from sticking too much, and make your design pop!
  • Readjust the strings to create equal sections. Grab the piece of string from opposite sides of the sourdough ball and tie them in a knot at the center of the dough ball. Try to keep all the knots in the same spot near the center of the top. The strings should be fairly tight against the dough, but not too tight where the string digs into the loaf. The pumpkin shape will accentuate as the sourdough bakes and expands! Cut off the excess string just above the knots.
a sourdough loaf on parchment paper that has bakers twine tied over it to look like the grooves on a pumpkin
  • Use a bread lame or a (razor blade) to score a fun design into each section of the sourdough pumpkin. You can do chevron design or wheat stalks use your imagination here!
  • Take out the hot Dutch oven from the oven, be careful a preheated Dutch is very hot! use oven mitts for your safety. Place the sourdough bread into the Dutch oven with the parchment paper, and bake for 30 minutes at 500 degrees F with the lid closed on the Dutch oven. After 30 minutes remove the lid from the Dutch oven and lower your heat to 450F,  bake for 3-10 additional minutes (until golden brown) depending on how much color you want on your sourdough bread. Take out your sourdough bread from the oven.

Step 4: Remove strings and enjoy!

  • Place the pumpkin-shaped sourdough bread on a cooling rack for an hour before removing the baking twine. 
  • Add a “stem” to the top of your pumpkin-shaped sourdough to complete the look! Using a bread lame,  cut a small X in the crust before inserting the cinnamon stick so it wouldn’t cause a big crack. Place the cinnamon stick into the middle of the top of the loaf to make it look like a stem.  
  • Cool the loaf completely before cutting into it. Use a sharp knife to slice your sourdough pumpkin loaf of bread…if you would dare!

HOW TO MAKE A PUMPKIN SHAPE SOURDOUGH LOAF

I will show you how to make a pumpkin shape sourdough loaf. This loaf is pumpkin-shaped, this loaf does not have a pumpkin flavor.
Prep Time 5 hours
1 day
Total Time 1 day 5 hours
Course bread

Equipment

  • parchement paper
  • This food-grade twine 
  • Dutch oven
  • cinnamon stick
  • lame

Ingredients
  

  • 650 g water
  • 200 g leavened sourdough starter
  • 1000 g flour
  • 20 g salt

Instructions
 

STEP 1: MAKE YOUR BREAD DOUGH

  • In a large mixing bowl add 1,000 grams of flour, 200 grams of active sourdough starter, 650 grams of warm filtered water, and 20 grams of salt. For the next part I like to use the best tool there is, my hands! wash your hands and give this a good mix. You don’t want to knead the dough, you want to combine all the ingredients together till there is no dry streaks of flour. After a good mix, close the bowl with a lid and let the sourdough bread mixture rest for 30 minutes. 
  • After 1 hour- you will stretch and fold the sourdough. Gluten relaxes over time, this step will help to build up the gluten and give it strength and shape. Once you have stretched and folded all sides of the sourdough, cover it with the lid and let rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat this process 3 times.
  • After 3 sets of stretch and folds, gently take out the sourdough on a clean countertop. Do not dust any flour on the countertop. Once the dough is out of the bowl, take a bench scraper and divide the dough into two equal pieces. Once it is divided- cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  • Once the dough rest for 10 minutes you will work with one loaf at a time. Take your first dough and with your hands stretch the sourdough out on a clean countertop. You will NOT need to wet your hands for this step. it will be a little sticky, but make sure to not add any additional flour. if the sourdough is too sticky to work with use your bench scraper to help. Next, take one side of the sourdough and fold it over to the center, then fold over the opposite side. Once the two sides are folded, roll the dough into a ball. then seal the ends. Tuck the ends underneath the dough to form a ball. After the sourdough is formed into a ball start to twist the dough on the table to create tension on the bottom. This helps to close up any open holes. Repeat the same process on the other dough.
  • Now that your sourdough is shaped into a round shape- lightly flour your round banneton, you can use flour or rice flour (if you are not using proofing baskets then take a bowl and line it with a tea towel) flip your sourdough with the bottom facing up into your basket or bowl. Pinch to seal any holes. Dust the Sourdough ball with a little bit of flour, then cover it with plastic wrap (or I use these shower caps) place it inside a plastic bag, and then tie the bag so air doesn’t get inside. Place in the fridge for overnight fermentation (bulk fermentation). Repeat the same process for the other loaf.

STEP 2: CREATE A PUMPKIN SHAPE

  • Place a Dutch oven into the oven with the lid closed and preheat the oven to 500F. While your oven is preheating (with the Dutch oven inside) take out a piece of parchment paper and lay it out in front of you on a countertop. Cut 4 pieces of kitchen twine about 36″ long. Tip: Soaking or coating the string in olive oil will help them not stick to the dough. Spread the twine out on the parchment paper.
  •  Take your loaf out of the fridge and gently flip your dough onto parchment paper. Spread the twine evenly to create eight lobes of the sourdough pumpkin. See the photos below.
  • Lightly and evenly dust the surface of the dough with flour and then spread it with your hands. This will help prevent the string from sticking too much, and make your design pop!
  • Readjust the strings to create equal sections. Grab the piece of string from opposite sides of the sourdough ball and tie them in a knot at the center of the dough ball. Try to keep all the knots in the same spot near the center of the top. The strings should be fairly tight against the dough, but not too tight where the string digs into the loaf. The pumpkin shape will accentuate as the sourdough bakes and expands! Cut off the excess string just above the knots.
  • Use a bread lame or a (razor blade) to score a fun design into each section of the sourdough pumpkin. You can do chevron design or wheat stalks use your imagination here!
  • Take out the hot Dutch oven from the oven, be careful a preheated Dutch is very hot! use oven mitts for your safety. Place the sourdough bread into the Dutch oven with the parchment paper, and bake for 30 minutes at 500 degrees F with the lid closed on the Dutch oven. After 30 minutes remove the lid from the Dutch oven and lower your heat to 450F,  bake for 3-10 additional minutes (until golden brown) depending on how much color you want on your sourdough bread. Take out your sourdough bread from the oven.

STEP 4: REMOVE STRINGS AND ENJOY!

  • Place the pumpkin-shaped sourdough bread on a cooling rack for an hour before removing the baking twine. 
  • Add a “stem” to the top of your pumpkin-shaped sourdough to complete the look! Using a bread lame,  cut a small X in the crust before inserting the cinnamon stick so it wouldn’t cause a big crack. Place the cinnamon stick into the middle of the top of the loaf to make it look like a stem.  
  • Cool the loaf completely before cutting into it. Use a sharp knife to slice your sourdough pumpkin loaf of bread…if you would dare!
Keyword sourdough bread

Try my other sourdough recipes

sourdough discard chocolate chip cookies

cheesy sourdough pull-apart bread

sourdough focaccia bread

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Table of Contents

On Key

Related Posts

Syrniki (farmer’s cheese pancakes)

This is my favorite recipe for syrniki (farmer’s cheese pancakes). It is easy to whip up these delectable, fluffy Russian cheese pancakes for a scrumptious

Farmer’s cheese ( Tvorog)

This recipe uses a simple method to make farmer’s cheese (tvorog), which turns out very soft! This makes THE BEST cheese for syrniki! Growing up,

Sugar snap pea salad

Say hello to the most delicious summer salad! This sugar snap pea salad is so tasty and easy to make! This snap peas salad will

Serbian potato moussaka 

Serbian potato moussaka has layers of thinly sliced potatoes, meat, onion with mushrooms, and a creamy cheese sauce which is then baked until golden brown!

Verified by MonsterInsights