{whole grain} yeast-raised pumpkin muffins

by Chen

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Fall for fall.

This is the season. It sounds bizarre but it’s true that I spend my summer in shorts while starting from fall, skirts are strictly preferred to other pieces. Plus, I am ready to stuff myself with all kinds of root vegetables and golden-colored vegetables in every way I can think of–mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato bread, stewed pumpkin, butternut squash soup and such and such.

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yeast-raised pumpkin muffins
Makes 12 plus a tiny loaf

1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in the water and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes until foamy. Whisk in the yogurt, pumpkin puree, and eggs until smooth. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer attached with the dough hook, combine the bread flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, salt, and cinnamon. With the machine running on medium-low speed, pour in the yeast mixture. Let it knead until the dough starts to pull away from the wall and becomes elastic. It will be wet and have a consistency between the regular bread dough and muffin batter. Loosely cover the bowl and let the dough raise at room temperature until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down with a wooden spoon. Spoon the dough into lightly greased muffin tins to fill each tin almost full. Transfer the leftover doughs into a greased baking dish (or more muffin tins if you have). Cover the doughs and refrigerate overnight. Alternatively, you can leave them outside and wait until doubled in size again and bake right away.

The next day, take the pans out and let them come to room temperature. The dough will raise somewhat but not too much. Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let the muffins/bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes and remove from the pan. Serve warm with your favorite spread (honey, cream cheese, softened butter, etc).

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