While I’m not one to jump on the early August pumpkin-everything bandwagon, I do love to celebrate autumn and the harvest season at the appropriate time (fall officially begins on September 21 for all you earlybirds).
Whenever you decide it’s time to start bringing fall flavors into your home, this sourdough pumpkin bread recipe is a must! It is made with wholesome ingredients like Einkorn flour that is traditionally fermented and maple syrup.
Why You Should Ferment Your Grains
Most plant foods, especially vegetables and grains, contain defense chemicals. The process of lacto-fermentation helps break down some of these defense chemicals which allow more nutrients to be absorbed. Additionally, it inhibits the putrefying bacteria that cause vegetables and fruits to go bad which will preserve them for months!
The primary defense chemical found in oats, nuts, and grains is phytic acid. When consumed raw, the phytic acid in grains, nuts, and seeds binds with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc in the intestinal tract and blocks their absorption The process of fermenting the grains with a sourdough starter breaks down the phytic acid and allows access to the nutrients in the grains.
Not only does fermentation break down phytic acid, but it also decreases the gluten content in a grain. This is why those with gluten sensitivities are often able to tolerate sourdough. The longer the fermentation process, the better! You can even put this recipe in the fridge, and allow it to ferment for 2-3 days.
Besides breaking down defense chemicals which permits the absorption of more nutrients, the fermentation process in sourdough also generates a lot of beneficial bacteria. That beneficial bacteria lines the digestive tract and has been shown to aid with a variety of health conditions including autoimmune disorders, IBD, IBS, strengthening the immune system, and inflammatory conditions. For example, the fermented dairy product kefir contains up to 30 different strains of bacteria, 1.5 trillion beneficial bacteria. That’s 100x more than any probiotic supplement!
Why Use Einkorn Flour And Maple Syrup
Einkhorn Flour: Einkhorn flour is the only type of wheat that has not been genetically modified. It is in its original form and has not been altered in any way. Additionally, einkhorn has been found by some with gluten sensitivities to be more to be more tolerable.
The ancient grain has a different gluten protein structure than modern, genetically modified grains and flours. Its structure is less compact and therefore more easily broken apart. However, it does still contain gluten, so it may not be best for those with gluten sensitivities, especially Celiacs disease.
Maple Syrup: Maple syrup, unlike artificial sugars or even organic cane sugar, is minimally processed. The substance comes straight from trees and undergoes very little processing. Traditional forms of sugar such as cane or beet sugar, on the other hand, have been stripped of all of its nutrients. Therefore, it is left as just a simple carbohydrate. Since maple syrup is minimally processed, it contains minerals and antioxidants.
How To Make The Best Pumpkin Bread
Sourdough Pumpkin Bread
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 Loaf Pan
- 2 cups Einkorn Flour
- 1 cup Pureed Pumpkin
- 1/4 cup Sourdough Starter
- 2 Tbsp Raw Milk (if not raw, add milk after fermentation)
- 1/2 cup Butter or Coconut Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2-2/3 cup Maple Syrup depending on desired sweetness
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 cup Optional Add-Ins: nuts, dried cranberries, coconut flakes, chocolate chips
- Combine flour, sourdough starter, pumpkin, maple syrup, and milk (if using raw milk) in a medium sized bowl. This will create a thick dough.
- Cover with a towel and let sit a room temperature for 12 hours or overnight. For a long fermentation, put in fridge after 12 hours and let ferment for another 12-48 hours.
- After Fermentation: Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease the bottom of the loaf pan with butter or coconut oil. If left to ferment in fridge, pull dough out 30-60 minutes ahead of time to allow it to return to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, mix together melted butter, eggs, spices, and salt.
- Combine the mixture with the fermented dough. I like to use my hands to ensure it is well combine without overmixing.
- Sprinkle baking soda into the dough and stir to mix.
- Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 55-70 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil if the top is starting to brown but the middle isn't cooked yet.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes and tip loaf out of pan.
- Once completely cooled, slice and serve with butter, jam, or even cheese!
- Store on the counter for 4-5 or in freezer for 2-3 months.
How To Make Pumpkin Muffins
This recipe also works great for making pumpkin muffins! Simply follow all the the fermenting instructions and mix in the same baking ingredients.
Grease a muffin tin with butter or coconut oil.
Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow muffins to cool and rest 10 minutes before removing from pan.