Pane Dolce di Zucca

A long time ago I borrowed a cookbook from Auntie called The Italian Country Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.

It’s the first time I ever read a cookbook like an book, cover to cover. It’s a great cookbook if you’re into that kind of stuff.

I don’t know how this link is going to work: Sweet Pumpkin Bread.

It’s a yeasted bread and I gave it a try. I had a lot less experience with yeasted bread than I do now and I’m surprised I didn’t freak out because I was pretty nervous about it last weekend when I tried it again.

Here are the critical ingredients. The pumpkin (from my garden), the lemon zest and the rosemary. The zest looks like an impossibly huge pile, but don’t worry, it tastes great in the bread.

The lemon zest and rosemary are heated with a little oil. It makes your kitchen smell fantastic.

Here’s the mixer going to town. It was the wettest “dough” (d’oh!) in history. I was having a mild panic attack and slowly adding more and more flour. The recipe said it would be sticky but this was ridiculous. The recipe says better a too soft dough than a too heavy one. I hoped soft meant “batter-like.”

The recipe said I could let it rise in the refrigerator overnight so I shoved it in there and this is what came out in the morning. That’s about 500 pounds of bread dough. My mild panic attack resumed.

I went ahead and split into three equal piles and didn’t let the extreme stickiness of the dough scare me. I got them formed into their respective loaves. The yellow is cornmeal that you rest them in and later bake them in. You might as well know right now that cornmeal is going to be in every corner of your oven and kitchen. Also it burns in the oven making your house smell like burned popcorn.

I had an additional problem because the recipe said to put all three loaves on one baking sheet and I didn’t have a baking sheet the size of a football field. I had to keep moving my cornmeal and my loaves (gently!) from sheet to sheet until I found two that would fit in the oven at the same time and fit all three loaves. More cornmeal dusted into the cracks and crevices of my kitchen.

But it came out great. A tad on the heavy side, but not bad. I don’t mind dense bread. I ate a half a loaf when it came out of the oven and could barely fall asleep I was so full.

We have plenty in the freezer to enjoy later.

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2 Responses to Pane Dolce di Zucca

  1. Kira says:

    These look awesome. I haven’t really done much with more difficult yeasted breads…just the speedy no-knead, which I affectionately refer to as “speedy.” This looks really yummy though. I wonder if it would come out okay if I made less, because just the thought of dealing with those three loaves and getting them to fit in the over makes me feel anxious and lightheaded. Or maybe that’s just my pre-Thanksgiving meal feeling. So excited about carbs!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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