I love good bread. But with all the great bread bakeries we have in Seattle, I was never really motivated to make my own. Until now.
Awhile back, my friend Jenifer brought an amazing loaf of kabocha raisin bread to a party. It was something I couldn’t get out of my mind. I begged her for a lesson, and last week, we traded a cooking class. (I taught her how to make a Shanghainese dish.)
In return, she showed me how to make good bread. I took extensive notes to share with you. The only thing you need for this recipe before you start is some sort of biga or poolish. Instead of using roasted kabocha squash and raisins, I made a pumpkin rosemary loaf because I wanted a savory loaf at home for sandwiches or for making grilled cheese. —thecookbookchronicles
This recipe makes a great moist bread with a lot of structure and bite. The hard crust is crisp and toasty. The bread has a mild pumpkin flavor with a hint of rosemary. It's a little out of the ordinary, but still something that you could use everyday to make sandwiches or dunk in soup. Using a biga gives the bread a well-developed flavor and, if you regularly bake bread, you can follow thecookbookchronicles's advice and keep it alive to use later. The recipes calls for Italian 00 flour which is ground finer than American flours. The durum wheat used to make 00 flour results in gluten strands that are hard, but less elastic than our red wheat flours. If you can't find 00 flour, substitute all-purpose flour (I did). The texture is a little chewier, but the bread still has the strong gluten that gives it structure. Both my loaves got large bubbles under the crust, so next time I would slash the loaves right before they go in the oven. - Stephanie —The Editors