Same-Day Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread

Made with silky pumpkin purée, tangy sourdough starter and fragrant fall spices, this moist and tender sourdough pumpkin bread (loaf) can be made on the same-day, or chilled overnight to maximize flavor and digestibility.

Sourdough pumpkin bread in a loaf pan
Sourdough discard pumpkin bread

Initially, I thought modifying my top-rated sourdough banana bread with pumpkin purée would create an instant, brand new discard recipe. Nope. Not even close. The sourdough pumpkin bread disasters that came out of my kitchen were too moist (damp), not sweet enough, and oddly chewy? I was crushed. I didn’t get it.

Naturally, I spun into an analytical spiral, googling things 3 AM that could possibly “help” (which didn’t) and long story short: it was the pumpkin purée. 

Sourdough discard pumpkin bread (sliced)
Moist sourdough pumpkin bread

The Backstory.

Pumpkin purée, the canned kind, contains a lot of moisture. So does sourdough starter (it contains water). When combined, using 1 full can of pumpkin purée which is standard in most pumpkin bread recipes, the batter becomes very runny. Runny batter + too little flour = sunken center. More flour is needed to compensate. But… more flour = more batter, which means you’ll need 2 loaf pans instead of one! Do you have 2 loaf pans?

I turned gray over this. 

After muffling my internal chatter with long walks and shower talks, the ah-ha moment eventually became clear: scale back the pumpkin purée. So I did. My sourdough pumpkin bread recipe uses only 1/2 can of pumpkin purée instead of 1 full can, with enough leftover to make a second loaf. And guess what? The texture is perfect. It’s velvety-soft, pleasingly moist and spiked with the heady scent of cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves. The interior crumb will melt in your mouth.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Just like my sourdough blueberry muffins and this crumble-topped sourdough apple cake, you can make this recipe now or ferment overnight to maximize flavor and digestibility.
  • Baked loaves freeze beautifully.
  • The texture becomes more moist on the second day, in a good way, which means you can make and bake this loaf in advance.
Sourdough pumpkin bread ingredients
Sourdough pumpkin bread ingredients

Ingredients You Will Need:

  • Eggs
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin purée
  • Mild oil (canola oil, vegetable oil etc.)
  • Sourdough starter
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Fine sea salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Ground cloves

Helpful Tips

  • This recipe is baked in a standard 9×5-inch loaf pan. Alternatively, use smaller pans and shorten the bake time.
  • I prefer using a stand mixer (there’s a lot of batter to mix!). But it can be done by hand in a large bowl or with a hand-held mixer instead.
  • Choosing an overnight ferment allows for convenient “wake and bake” in the morning. To do so: put the loaf tin (with the cold pumpkin batter) directly in the hot oven and enjoy the pleasant aroma while it bakes.

How To Make It: Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment: beat the eggs, light brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract together. Add the pumpkin purée, followed by the oil and sourdough starter. Mix well to combine.
  • In a separate small bowl: sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
  • With the machine running, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently until incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. If baking right away, jump to the next step. Or, cover tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Bake from cold the next day.
  • Bake on the center rack for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  • Cool for 1-2 hours before slicing.

Note: This loaf tastes completely different warm vs. at room temperature. Personally, I prefer it at room temperature (so, cooled for at least a few hours). It gets more moist as it sits, and the flavor improves.

Sourdough pumpkin bread slices
Sourdough discard pumpkin bread

More Sourdough Discard Recipes To Try!

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Sourdough discard pumpkin bread

Same-Day Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread


  • Author:
    Emilie Raffa


  • Prep Time:
    20 minutes


  • Cook Time:
    70 minutes


  • Total Time:
    1 hour 30 minutes


  • Yield:
    1 loaf


  • Category:
    Sourdough Discard Recipes


  • Method:
    Oven-Baked


  • Cuisine:
    American

  • Diet:
    Vegetarian

Description

Made with silky pumpkin puree, tangy sourdough starter and fragrant fall spices, this moist and tender sourdough pumpkin bread (loaf) can be made on the same-day, or chilled overnight to maximize flavor and digestibility.

Notes & Tips:

    • This recipe is baked in a standard 9×5-inch loaf pan. Alternatively, use smaller pans and shorten the bake time.
    • I prefer using a stand mixer (there’s a lot of batter to mix!). But it can be done by hand in a large bowl or with a hand-held mixer instead.
    • Choosing an overnight ferment allows for convenient “wake and bake” in the morning. To do so: put the loaf tin (with the cold pumpkin batter) directly in the hot oven and enjoy the pleasant aroma while it bakes.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
  • 170 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 225 g (1 cup) canned pumpkin puree
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) mild oil, such as expeller pressed canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) sourdough starter (active starter or sourdough discard)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 215 g (1 3/4 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment: beat the eggs, light brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract together. Add the pumpkin purée, followed by the oil and sourdough starter. Mix well to combine.
  3. In a separate small bowl: sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
  4. With the machine running, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently until incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. At this point you can bake immediately (see next step). Or ferment overnight (see Overnight Option below).
  5. Bake on the center rack for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  6. Cool for 1-2 hours before slicing. I prefer this cake at room temperature; the flavor and texture improves as it sits.

Overnight Option: Prepare the batter as indicated above; pour into your prepared loaf pan. Cover with a few layers of plastic wrap and chill overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, discard the plastic wrap. Bake @ 350 (from cold) for 60-70+ minutes or until done.


Keywords: sourdough, discard, recipe, easy, pumpkin, bread, loaf, moist, fluffy

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