If you had asked me a year ago whether or not I would be sitting here today writing a blog post about baking my own bread, I would have laughed at you. And then secretly called up the local hospital to have you committed.

Of course, the blog wouldn’t have existed yet.

So that would have been point of contention numero uno.

But barring that, up until just a few months ago, I considered bread baking to be something that happened to other people. Pastry chefs, Michelin award winners, expert bloggers like Natashya from Living in the Kitchen With Puppies and Deb of Smitten Kitchen. Anyone but me, essentially.
And then, somewhere along the line, something started to change. I started to change. Perhaps I became more adventurous or confident, or less afraid of failure.

Or maybe I just can’t resist a good challenge. Or any opportunity to make a complete mess out of my kitchen and thereby drive my two roommates insane. And so really, I haven’t changed at all, I’m just perpetuating all of my previously known character flaws.
Either way, when I read about HBinFive on Big Black Dog, which is a new cooking group that is going to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, I knew it was something I had to join.

What does this mean for you, my dear readers? Well, it means that you are going to be reading about my adventures with bread for the next four years (there are 100 recipes and we are going to post every other week. You do the math.)

Wow. I did not do that calculation before joining the group. If ever I had any commitment issues here is where they would rear their ugly heads.

So speak now or forever hold your peace.

Then here we go.

While the regular postings don’t start until January, we have two bonus never-before-posted bread recipes that we are going to make, one in November and one in December. This whole wheat pumpkin pie brioche being the former.
The Process: While I can’t post the recipes for any of these breads since the book has just been published and thus the recipes don’t appear anywhere on the web, I can certainly tell you, in vague and qualitative terms, about what exactly I went through to get this bread on the table. The first thing you should know is that the premise of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day is that the recipes are (a) whole grain and relatively healthy and (b) require very little hands on time.

Is this true?

So basically, I spent about fifteen minutes gathering and mixing ingredients on Friday. Then I left the mixture to rise and went to the gym. Two hours later, I came back. The dough had risen to monstrous proportions. I was pretty sure it was going to devour me AND the betta fish that is currently living on my kitchen table. It then went into the fridge, where it rested until the next morning. When I took it out, broke it into two, and let half of it sit in a loaf pan for 90 minutes. The other half went back into the fridge. It rose yet again. (I’m telling you, the yeast are out to get me. First I end up with a Swedish tea ring the size of a pizza and now I have pumpkin pie brioche that won’t be stifled) Then into the oven it went, for about 40 minutes.

And voila! There you have it. I don’t actually think it could get easier than that. Unless maybe I had a heavy duty mixer to mix the dough with. But in reality, I kind of like getting my hands dirty. It makes me feel like I’m really forging a connection with my dough. We become emotionally attached, share a few Kodak moments. And then I eat it. The circle of life at its finest.

The only changes that I made to the recipe were to use whole wheat flour instead of white whole wheat flour, since my grocery store was out of white whole wheat. The recipe also gave you the option of using oil or butter as the fat of choice. I chose vegetable oil. No saturated fats for me. Also, no egg wash or sugar sprinkles on top. Because I was so excited that I completely forgot before throwing the bread in the oven. But that is what the second loaf is for. (Reason number 132 why I love bread baking – you always get second chances.)
Okay But How Did It Taste: This bread was super moist and had little hints of pumpkiny flavor throughout. It is definitely a savory and not sweet bread, but all of the spices are certainly very reminiscent of pumpkin pie.

My favorite comment was from Sophie, who said that she could feel a nutmeg high coming on, that’s how good it was (she really loves nutmeg). (And yes it is true that in high enough quantities – 4-8 tsp – nutmeg can have psychedelic effects.)

I enjoyed the bread with a smear of pumpkin butter on it and last night also made some cranberry chutney to smother it in (more on that in a later post), which reallycomplemented the flavor profile of the bread.

Less than 24 hours later, the loaf is 3/4 gone. And all I have to say is, thank god I have that other half of dough in the fridge.

Check out the round-up over at Big Black Dog to see what everyone else did with this dough! Or join in yourself! As I said before, the regular posting doesn’t start until January so you have plenty of time to get involved!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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44 Responses to Adventures with Yeast – Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pie Brioche

  1. Megan says:

    If someone told me a year ago I would be in a bread baking group, I would have laughed too. But here we are! And with this bread, I couldn’t be happier. Your loaf is beautiful! 🙂

  2. Michelle says:

    LOLOOLLOL! Joanne you are so funny! I had a large rise for my PPB too! But it sure made some great bread! Pumpkin Butter is so good and I can only imagine how good it must have been on the PPB!

    Gorgeous loaf of bread too!

  3. Lu says:

    Very nice. Did you say 4 yrs?! I didn’t do the math before I joined this group either. But I think I’m gonna like it here 🙂

  4. Mari says:

    Ha 4 years of making bread…I hope I get an invite!

    Btw I thought about you last night… Jen and I were in the city and we wanted to call you but neither of us had your number…I need it lol

  5. Pam says:

    Gorgeous! I didn’t get this made in time. But I hope mine looks as good as yours!

  6. Nazarina A says:

    This is a delicious take on a brioche!I could do with a piece in all this snow!

  7. Amy says:

    I’m still not there yet. Sometimes because it seems too ambitious for me, but mostly because I just don’t have the time and patience right now. So, I continue to enjoy and drool over yours and Natashya’s creations. This is no exception. Yum.

  8. You made it seem so easy. I might just have to give bread making a try.

  9. SE(Denufood) says:

    4 years of making bread!!..one thing that would come out of it is a A2Z of bread making and at the end of it…one can start a side venture!!

  10. Judy says:

    OK – I think you have sufficiently freaked us out with the calculation of a 4 year commitment!! I’ve loved, loved, loved the first ABin5 book and now this one. When I was in undergrad and grad school, I was determined my family would have homemade bread at least once a week. You should have very little problems making bread using this technique with your school/work commitments.

  11. GOOD FOR YOU… a wonderful bread, and good luck with the bread group. It is amazing what a little flour and seasonings turns into. Leap out of that comfort zone!

  12. Megan says:

    A four year committment? That’s about 3.8 years too long for me. 🙂

    But seriously, the Art in 5 book is addicting, because it is sooo easy – and if I learned how to do it, anyone can.

    Did I mention the dog bakes bread now?

  13. Pumpkin butter sounds great and your loaf looks perfect!

  14. Kim says:

    I’m so happy you are going to be part of the bread baking 😀 I noticed that you’ve been baking with yeast a lot and wanted to ask if you were joining. Looks like a lot of our TFF friends are part of this, so that should be fun! Your bread turned out great. I was a little worried that this group was going to be over my head, but so far so good. I think by the end of the book we’ll be turning out expert loaves ;D

  15. oh.my.goodness. fantastic my dear!! that looks like it turned out perfectly!

  16. Joanne, it looks wonderful! Congrats on being a bread baker! Perfect loaf for you to start with.
    I’ll be making it soon.

  17. Elra says:

    Simply wonderful. Aren’t you glad to be able to bake your own bread? I know I do!

  18. girlichef says:

    Oh man, pumpkin butter. genius move. I totally wish I had some 😀 And I’m right there…here…with ya! Natashya is the master but we’ll be nipping at her heels soon 😉

  19. It turned out beautiful! Your going to be a pro like Natashya in no time. Imagine in four years if we are all still blogging? That is so strange to think about. That has to make us BFF’s forever or something! Love that you put pumpkin butter on your pumpkin bread!

  20. teresa says:

    so very tempted to join this group! the pumpkin bread looks amazing!

  21. Your loaf looks wonderful! Mine turned out better the 2nd go round as well. Happy Baking!

  22. Danielle says:

    haha…very cute blog! beautiful bread! and yeah…you did it! I love how easy this bread is. Seriously! I bet the pumpkin butter was wicked good on the bread.

  23. Kathleen says:

    Great combo! Can’t wait to try this bread! Love your blog

  24. Judy says:

    Great looking bread. This is a perfect book for healthy breads, too. I like your idea of using pumpkin butter — I may actually have some in my pantry (another excuse to make more bread!).

  25. Sophia says:

    You’re freaking amazing. Right after TFF, and you’re joining another group! You really ARE a true foodie, and I ADORE you!!!

  26. This bread looks amazing! Great success, especially for the first time baking bread!

  27. RJ Flamingo says:

    Wait – 4 years? Really? Geez. Well, I guess we’ll all become great friends!

    Yours looks great – a lot like mine, in fact. LOL!

  28. Debinhawaii says:

    Gorgeous bread–I admire your yeast courage and need to find some too.

  29. Palidor says:

    Yea, you did a fabulous job! Glad you are taking the plunge into the world of yeast and bread. I’m looking forward to reading all about your adventures for years to come!

  30. Jenny says:

    Yummy pumpkin butter! I haven’t had any for such a long time, but now I want to run out and get some for my other loaf of this bread which my daughter informs me should be made with a cinnamon swirl.

  31. GA Jane says:

    Pumpkin butter, new molds, swirls, Cinnamon rolls,
    great pictures and blogs. Come and join the Hbin5 group!

  32. A pumpkin brioche sounds wonderful and so perfect with pumpkin butter, yum!

  33. Shannon says:

    ooh, my my, this sounds amazing. and i just got this book! i have yet to read it yet though… soon 🙂

  34. Oh my, that looks amazing! I love that it has pumpkin flavor in it too. So many pumpkiny things just don’t taste like it and really let my taste buds down!

  35. Graziana says:

    ooooh so sorry you can’t reveal the secret recipe! It looks great and I had some pumpkin in the fridge that just wait to be bread-ized!

  36. rena says:

    It looks amazing! I love anything pumpkin 🙂

  37. Delicious! I’d love to make this one! I’m with Sophie on the nutmeg!

    I must head over and check it the rest of the yummy bread now.

  38. AmandaLP says:

    Mmm, pumpkin butter sounds really good! I will remember that for next time 🙂

  39. Katy ~ says:

    For a self-described non-bread baker, your loaf looks positively delish and divine! Well done!!!

  40. Nat says:

    Thats amazing Joanne..you are amazing…I am so impressed…WOW !

  41. Kerstin says:

    I’m really impressed, your bread looks perfect!

  42. I never did the math either…4 years? It will be a labor of love 😉 Your brioche turned out great!


  43. Cristie says:

    Your bread looked beautiful, and I loved mine smeared with honey butter. It will be great to be baking together as a group!

  44. You did a beautiful job with this. I like the color of the bread. Not only is it savory, it is attractive.

    Funny, how we discover just how versatile pumpkin is, in the fall. I guess it is not so funny and make sense but I am still amazed at the many ways, people have found to use it.

    Great job.

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