Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Step by Step through Maggie Glezer’s Pan de Calabazas

This recipe jumped out at me the other day while flipping exhaustedly through my mother’s well-thumbed-by-me copy of A Blessing of Bread:  Pan de Calabazas – Sephardic Pumpkin Bread.  

The book describes it as a sephardic Rosh Hashanah bread, but I figure with pumpkins just coming into their own right now, it’s perfect for Sukkos.  Plus, Ted loves anything with pumpkin!

I am reminded of the Ashkenazi custom to dissolve a few threads of saffron to give your challah a lustrous yellowy-orange colour (perhaps in times and places when egg yolks were not as plentiful?).  In this case, though, the pumpkin (she says you can also use a sweet potato) also adds moisture, hopefully making for a long-keeping bread.

Here are the steps to creating this gorgeous orange challah.

Autolyse/slurry:

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Fold laundry, come back 1/2 an hour later.

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Add in all the other liquids… (nice and sweet, but light on the egg; my favourite!)

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Then dump in the flour all at once.

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Whoops!  Wouldn’t be pumpkin bread without pumpkin, now would it? (you’re supposed to add the pumpkin with the other liquids… and yes, it is tinned)

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Shaggy dough, to say the least.

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Knead for a few minutes…

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… and then a few minutes more, until it is evenly pumpkin-coloured throughout, smooth and elastic.

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Dump in the bucket and fridge until this afternoon.

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Despite the distraction of a  million fruit flies, craft 2 decent 1.5lb 4-braids and 1 decent 1lb 3-braid.

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Done!  Set in downstairs fridge to rise overnight.

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