This pumpkin sourdough bread is soft, buttery, and has a tender crumb. Serve these as delicious pumpkin pull apart rolls or serve as sliced pumpkin bread. It's made with mashed kabocha pumpkin, butter, active sourdough starter, and a bit of sugar for a slightly sweet, buttery pumpkin bread!
This pumpkin sourdough bread is soft, pillowy, and incredibly fluffy! It has a chewy, elastic texture that's similar to milk bread found in Asian bakeries but made with sourdough and kabocha pumpkin for more flavor!
It's made with steamed and mashed pumpkin or kabocha squash. It's called 'dan hobak bread' in Korea and is a popular sweet bread that's found in Korean and Japanese bakeries.
When pulled apart, you should see long strands of elastic dough that's rich, buttery, and full of kabocha pumpkin flavor!
You can form these into small pull apart pumpkin rolls for a delicious snack or form them into loafs to slice and serve with butter.
- Mashed pumpkin or kabocha - use steamed and mashed pumpkin or kabocha squash. If using canned pumpkin, I recommend reducing it on the stove to get rid of excess liquid. The texture should be like mashed potatoes and not too wet.
- Sourdough starter or levain - use when the starter is most active. It should have doubled in volume after feeding or it should float if dropped into a bowl of warm water.
How to make Kabocha Pumpkin Sourdough Bread
- Use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Add all the ingredients except for the butter. Mix on low at first until all the flour is mixed in then add the butter and increase the speed to high. The dough is ready when it can be stretched thin without ripping and is translucent - called the windowpane test.
- Add the dough to a see through bowl add it in a warm, humid place to bulk ferment. When it's doubled in volume and you see air pockets running up the dough, it's ready. Another way to check is to pull the dough back and check for tiny air bubbles along the surface.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and shape them into balls, making sure they have a smooth surface. This will be the exterior crust so be sure it's even and smooth. Let it bench rest for 15 minutes loosely covered to prevent a skin.
- Roll the dough ball into a flat oval shape and flip it over so the smooth surface is face down. Fold the top and bottom third towards the center to perform a 'letter fold'.
- Starting from one end, roll the dough so that you end up with a spiral. Pinch the seam closed.
- Line two 1lb loaf pans with parchment paper. Add three pieces in each pan and let it proof until it increases in volume by 50%.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degree C or 338 degree F for 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Remove from the pan and remove the parchment paper. Let cool before slicing.
Soft Pumpkin Sourdough Bread
- 150 grams mashed pumpkin or kabocha
- 150 grams eggs - about 3 large eggs
- 125 grams water
- 100 grams active starter or levaine
- 50 grams unsalted butter - softened
- 500 grams bread flour
- 60 grams sugar
- 11 grams sea salt
- 6 grams active dry yeast
- Mix: Leaving out the butter, add the rest of the ingredients into the mixing bowl attached to a stand mixer. Make sure the yeast and salt don't touch. Using a dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until all the dry flour is incorporated.
- Add butter and beat: Next add all the butter and increase the speed to high until a smooth ball forms. The sides of the bowl should be clean and the dough should no longer be sticky.
- Windowpane test: Check the dough for proper gluten development using by stretching it between your fingers using the 'windowpane test'. You should be able to stretch it thin enough for the dough to be translucent without tearing.
- Bulk Fermentation: Take out the dough, form it into a loose ball, and put it into a large bowl. Proof in a warm, humid place until it doubles in volume (it took me about an hour). See Notes below on how to proof at home.
- Divide and shape, then bench rest: Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll them into even balls, making sure the surface is smooth. Dust the board and surface of dough balls with flour. Lightly cover so they don't dry out and let it rest for 15 minutes - called step is called bench rest.
- Final shaping: Dust your board with flour. Flip over the pre-shaped dough balls so the smooth surface is facing down. Roll each ball into a long oval shape then fold the bottom ⅓ up and the top ⅓ down to make a letter fold. Then roll up the dough and pinch the seam closed. See step by step photos in post for more details.
- Final proof: Line your pan with parchment paper. Add three rolled up dough balls into each loaf pan. Press down firmly to spread dough to corners. Proof until volume increases by 50%. About 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat your oven at this time to 338°F or 170°C.
- Bake: Bake at 338°F or 170°C for 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
✎ Recipe Notes
- Use an oven: Place the dough on the top rack of your oven and an empty pan on the bottom rack. Pour boiling water halfway up the pan on the bottom rack and keep the oven door closed. This will create enough heat and humidity to proof the dough. You can also leave the oven light on if you need more heat.
- Use an insulated cooler or icebox: Add about 1 or 2 inches of hot water to an insulated cooler. Place the dough inside the cooler but make sure it's not submerged in water by propping it on top of another container or board. This will create a warm, moist environment similar to a proofer. This is my preferred way to proof bread at home.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.
Wow! This turned out so delicious! Sourdough bread is my favorite, and it's even better full of pumpkin flavor. This is the best recipe I've tried!
Thank you Eunice! I'm so glad to hear that. 🙂
This bread is absolutely delicious - the texture is incredible. Not only does it taste amazing, but the smell when it is baking is so amazing. We served warm with lots of butter. Will be making it again tomorrow!
Thank you Alex! That's so wonderful to hear!
Oh wow this is perfect for fall! I have some pumpkin puree and some sourdough starter I need to feed to make this!
This bread sounds absolutely amazing! I have got to try this. I would never have thought of combining sourdough and pumpkin!!
I gave up on sourdough after my husband ended Bob my sourdough starter, but you have tempted me to start again! That looks so good!
I am loving that you added pumpkin to traditional sourdough! 🙂 This looks so soft & fluffy- perfection.
The purpose of using sourdough starter is to replace yeast. Why is this recipe use both?
Hi Vi! Yeast and starter can be used together if you want to improve the texture and flavor of bread without adding too much sourness. The commercial yeast speeds up the fermentation while the starter adds better texture. This technique is also used in commercial baking to help with consistency and flavor. Hope that answers your question. 🙂
Pumpkin and sourdough are my 2 favorite things, and my, this was so good. What a combination. I loved this recipe.
Thanks Kristina! So glad you enjoyed this! 🙂
What an incredible range of flavours. Sourdough and pumpkin are just wonderful separate but this is next level.
Love the idea of making a pumpkin sourdough bread! This looks so fluffy and delicious, cannot wait to try it. YUM!
Such a light, easy and completely delicious bread! So unique and unexpected; I love it!
Wow looks so soft! I need to give that sourdough starter another try. Last time I did it, it was my lack of patience. 🙂
Love everything pumpkin, and this pumpkin bread looks amazing! Perfect for fall season and Thanksgiving.