Pan de Calabaza: Pumpkin Challah
This bread brings fall ingredients to your festive meals and reflects the longtime usage of pumpkin among Sephardi Jews. See the Jewish Week for my story about unusual Rosh Hashanah breads, “Beyond Challah and Honey: Rosh Hashanah Breads From Around the World.”
Prep time: 30 minutes
Rising time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Yield: two loaves and 12 rolls or three loaves
Adapted from: Sephardic Holiday Cooking by Gilda Angel
2 packages active dry yeast or 4 ½ teaspoons of active dry yeast
½ cup sugar
2 cups warm water (approximately 110º F)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup vegetable oil, plus some for the rising bowl
2 eggs, lightly beaten + 1 egg for wash, lightly beaten
1 cup canned cooked pumpkin sometimes called puree (not pie filling)
8 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sesame seeds for topping
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in water. Let it foam for 10 minutes.
2. Mix in ginger, cardamom, salt, oil, 2 eggs and pumpkin. Blend in flour, 2 cups at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. On lightly floured surface or on a plastic mat, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Re-flour surface if dough is too sticky.
4. Place the ball of dough into a large, oiled bowl and turn it to be coated in oil. Place the bowl into a plastic bag and allow to rise in warm, draft free space until doubled, about 1 hour.
5. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into thirds. Again on lightly floured surface or plastic mat, form 2 loaves and 12 rolls (keeping the dough not being shaped, covered in the bag). Use lightly greased or parchment paper lined 9x5x3 loaf pans for rectangular shape or round cake pans for round loaves. Use greased/lined cookie sheet for the rolls or place rounds into greased/lined muffin pan for more uniformity.
6. Cover with bag and let rise in warm, draft free space until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. After 30 minutes pre-heat the oven to 375º F.
7. When the rise is complete, brush the tops of the loaves/rolls with beaten egg. Sprinkle all with sesame seeds. Place into the oven. After about 15 minutes remove all, rebrush the expanded portions of the dough, and replace in oven, switching the placement of the pans to evenly brown.
8. Bake the rolls for about 5 more minutes and remove from the oven to a cooling rack.
9. Bake the loaves an additional 25 minutes (total of 45 minutes), or until golden brown. If they seem to be browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil. Tap bottom for hollow sound or check internal temperature; they are done at 190º F.
10. Turn out onto rack to cool completely.
1. This makes a lot of bread which makes sense, especially for holiday family and company. The recipe can be halved as follows for a smaller yield:
1 packet active dry yeast or 2 ¼ teaspoon
¼ cup sugar
1 cup warm water (110º F)
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg, plus 1 yolk, beaten lightly, save the egg white for the wash
½ cup canned cooked pumpkin
4 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2. I did not try braiding this but it should work. I like baking it in a round shaped cake pan for the symbolism of the year’s cycle.
3. The top may be slashed gently with a knife or kitchen scissor. I like the look.
about the chocolatebabkaproject
Boulou: North African Orange Bread
Almost cake-like, though not a cake, this orange tinged bread enhances any holiday table. Read my story about diasporic Rosh Hashanah celebratory breads at the Jewish Week, “Beyond Challah and Honey.” Prep time: 2-2.5 hours Rising time: 40-45 minutes Baking time: 30 minutes Yield: 2 small loaves adapted from Jewish Food Experience, Leah Hadad INGREDIENTSRead more ›
Pan de Calabaza: Pumpkin Challah
This bread brings fall ingredients to your festive meals and reflects the longtime usage of pumpkin among Sephardi Jews. See the Jewish Week for my story about unusual Rosh Hashanah breads, “Beyond Challah and Honey: Rosh Hashanah Breads From Around the World.” Prep time: 30 minutes Rising time: 1 hour 45 minutes Baking time: 45Read more ›
Yemarina Yewotet Dabo: Ethiopian Honey Bread
This sweetly spiced bread maximizes honey, both inside and out. For more about this and other unusual Rosh Hashanah breads see my story at the Jewish Week “Beyond Challah and Honey: Rosh Hashanah Breads From Around the World.” Prep time: 30 minutes Rising time: 2-2 ¼ hours Baking time: 1 hour Yield: One large breadRead more ›
Ambasha (aka Himbasha, Hambasha) Ethiopian Wedding Bread
This stylish Ethiopian celebratory flatbread derives its unique elements from the hand styled design and sweet flavorings. It was probably initially baked over coals. While many recipes give instructions for baking it in the oven, I prefer to use the stovetop for speed and for keeping my kitchen cooler in the summer. adapted from: MyRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- A Chocolate Cake for October's Tricks: Devil's Food
- A Shikker Challah
- Ambasha (aka Himbasha, Hambasha) Ethiopian Wedding Bread
- Cheese Babka Recipe
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Chronicles: Inventions & Elections
- Is that coffee or chocolate?
- Lachuch (aka Lahoh or Lahuh): A Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
- Los Siete Cielos or Seven Heaven Challah Recipe
- Lunch & Learn: Central Synagogue
- Lunch and Learn: Tasting the Best Chocolate
- On the Chocolate Trail in Belize’s Jungle
- Other Wedding Bread Customs
- Recipe for Dabo: Ethiopian Pan Cooked Shabbat Bread
- Recipe for Fancy Shapes in Dough: Shaping Dough
- Saluf (aka Salouf or Saloof): Recipe for a Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
- What is the Chocolate Babka Project?
- What's a Key (shlissel) Challah?
- What? No Babka at Catskills Hotels? *
- Yeast Raised Khachapuri Recipe