Ukrainian Pumpkin Bread is delicious any time of the year! It has a mild pumpkin flavor from homemade pumpkin puree, a yellow-ish fluffy and tender texture and a shiny dark-brown crust. The house smells wonderful when it bakes!
In a small bowl or a measuring cup, add 1/3 cup water (must be very warm, but not hot 110-115°F). Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp granulated sugar and 1 1/2 tbsp instant dry yeast; stir gently to combine. Set aside to rest until foamy (10-15 minutes).
In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm whole milk, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp fine salt; stir or whisk in order for sugar to melt a bit. Add 1 cup homemade pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Then, add the yeast mixture and stir once again.
Add flour 1 cup at a time, stirring until just barely incorporated with each addition. (I usually do 5 1/2 cups, but do not go over 6 cups). Transfer the dough into the bread machine basket and set to the “dough” cycle. (My bread machine settings show 2 hours 20 minutes which includes kneading and rising). The dough rests and then when it starts kneading, I sometimes add couple more tbsp of flour. Dough should feel barely sticky to the touch, but should not stick to fingertips or the sides of the basket while mixing. Once the cycle is done, dough will be doubled in size. (You can skip this step and add everything into the bread machine basket, but I do the way mom does to prevent flour from flying all over the inside of bread machine.)
Meanwhile, grease 2 (9x5-inch) nonstick loaf pans. Cover the bottom and two longer sides of the pans with parchment paper. It will be easier to take out baked bread. Set aside.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll each dough piece into an even 8x10-inch rectangle. Then with your hands, roll the dough up starting with the longer side, keeping a tight roll. Seal sides and ends. Transfer the roll into prepared loaf pan, seam facing down. Using this method of rolling out and in helps make an even loaf, spread from one side to another in loaf pan.
Cover bread with clean kitchen cloth and place in a warm, draft-free area until pumpkin bread is doubled in size, for 1-1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to a 350°F. In a small bowl, whisk 1 large egg (this will be your egg wash).
If desired, gently score each loaf with a really sharp knife. Brush loaves with egg wash and bake both at the same time for 30-35 mins. Bread will be dark-brown color. Allow the baked bread to cool in the bread pan for 10 minutes and then pull the parchment paper from both sides to remove bread from pan. Use thin spatula to release bread on sides where there is no parchment paper.
Cover bread with a clean kitchen cloth and let cool to room temperature. OR give another 10 minutes before slicing. Hot bread will be chewy and sticky when slicing.
Bread is delicious to enjoy by itself, with butter on top or jam (toasted is a good idea).
%COPYYEAR% OLGA IN THE KITCHEN