Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Decorative Bread Tutorial

Today I want to share the latest fun we've been having here with bread! Pumpkin shaped decorative bread. I have to admit it has taken me a while to wrap my head around this technique and figure out how to make the shape of the pumpkin stay. Thanks be to my buddy John Miles for suggesting the the use of butcher's twine! It was literally a stroke of culinary genius! So without further chatter...let's get this pumpkin punk-fest started! I'm so excited to show you how to do this!

Take 10 oz of 5 day bread dough, roll it and gather the dough at the bottom. Allow a balloon-like structure to develop.

10 oz of bread dough, well kneaded and holding it's own. Like a very nice...rock...or something.
The outer skin of the dough will be very tight and clean, again, like a balloon.
Get yourself a wad of butcher's twine. I found mine in the kitchen tool section at the local grocery store. Easy to find.
Oil your bread very well.
Tie with twine, leaving the knots on the underside of the dough and the rounded part of the dough facing upward for baking.

Do not raise! It will be too difficult to control the shape. Simply Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. When still hot and uncooked, removed from oven and cut the twine off. It will be tricky, but I had fun with it. I found if I left the twine on the whole length of the baking, it was almost impossible to remove it.

After the twine is removed from the hot bread, I poke a whole in the top of the loaf and insert some of the Edible Decorative Bread dough (inert dough for flowers on bread) . This dough will adhere to the top of the bread if a little water is placed on the bottom side of the decorative additions. That inert dough must be made ahead of time.
Detailing on the leaves will stay nice and clean in the inert dough.
Once topped with some of the Edible Decorative Bread dough (inert dough for flowers on bread) work quickly. It must be returned to the oven within a few minutes. When you return it to the oven, reduce heat to 350. Bake about 15 minutes. While it bakes, get your painting supplies out. People, for the love of all that's good and righteous...please use clean fresh brushes and bowls. Yikes on wiping nasty germs on bread. Keep it sanitary.
How long do you bake the bread? Excellent question. So glad you asked. Bake until bread is over 170 degrees internal temperature (test with a meat thermometer). Allow to cool 10 minutes before painting.
A combination of paprika and turmeric or curry will give you a bright orange hue. This is a natural coloring. If you prefer, you can use food coloring, though it won't be natural...it will still work and be very cool.
Make sure you have a very clean new brush. Did I mention "clean" enough?! I prefer a flat brush like this when working on larger surfaces.
For the brown on the leaves, use the coffee granules dissolved in water or Pero brand natural grain drink dissolved in water. If you want another method, look at my in depth Basic Bread Painting Technique

To set color, return to the hot oven for 5 minutes.

There you go. Pumpkin bread at a whole new level.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Bergamot said...

I love your painted breads. And this one looks just amazing. Like the idea of using turmeric and chilli powder for a natural color

Chef Tess said...

Ah, I haven't heard from you in a while. Glad you came back for a visit my friend.

mlebagley said...

When did this show up? I swear it wasn't here yesterday morning! Very cool with the twine to give you the puckered sections of the pumpkin.... any residual twine hairs? Very cool...

Joanne said...

These are just so sweet! :) I so love the string technique!...and I am wondering what other amazing ways it might be used! Another great tutorial CT! :D

Chef Tess said...

Em...I put about 3 up yesterday...all were partially done and I had some tweeking to do. Sorry. No twine hair residuals either. That was the coolest part. :) Love you Auntie Em.

Mama Peck said...

These are so cute! Thanks for the great tutorial- I'm definitely making these SOON! :)

Becky said...

I discovered your blog and saw your awesome pumpkin bread right before halloween and had to make some. Without your tutorial yet I had to quess. They turned out really cute. Thanks for the great inspiration! I love your blog!