Double Pumpkin Sourdough Milk Bread

double pumpkin sourdough milk bread
It’s that magical time of the year — the Virtual Pumpkin Party! Since 2015, Sara at Cake Over Steak has been organizing a huge pumpkin recipe explosion and I’m excited to participate again this year with this Double Pumpkin Sourdough Milk Bread. I always amazed at seeing the unique ways bloggers use this ubiquitous squash, and I hope you’ll take some time to browse this year’s recipe list.

This is a fall version that mashes up a couple of my favorite recipes on this site: the sourdough pumpkin hokkaido milk bread and the sourdough milk bread twists. Since today is all about the pumpkin, I’ve opted to fill this bread with a pumpkin butter-esque filling (you could totally sub in actual pumpkin butter, if you have some on hand).

crumb shot double pumpkin sourdough milk bread

One note about this bread: the pumpkin puree can be a bit of a wildcard, as the moisture content can vary from brand to brand. I’ve tried both canned and homemade purees; and they both work — but you’ll want to make sure your puree isn’t too watery. (If it is on the watery side, blot it with some paper towels before measuring it out.) If you’ve made my regular sourdough milk bread recipes, you may notice that the dough seems a bit stickier than usual. That’s totally normal. I usually crank the speed up a little higher (say 5 on a KitchenAid mixer) and mix for a few minutes longer to get the dough to come together, but you may have to add a couple extra tablespoons of flour as well.

Previous CTD Virtual Pumpkin Party recipes: Fall Cliche Cake and Pumpkin Apple Butter Pie.

double pumpkin sourdough milk bread with gourds

Double Pumpkin Sourdough Milk Bread

Makes one loaf (I love using a 9x4x4 Pullman Pan, but a 9×5 will work too)



  • 18g ripe sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 31g milk
  • 57g bread flour
  • Mix and ferment at room temperature until ripe, about 6-12 hours depending on temperature and strength of your starter.

Final dough:

  • 284g bread/AP flour
  • 46g sugar
  • 52g butter, at cool room temperature
  • 21g milk powder
  • 53g egg (about 1 large)
  • 7g salt
  • 104g milk
  • 100g pumpkin or butternut squash puree
  • All of the levain


  • 170g pumpkin or butternut squash puree
  • 55g dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

To Finish:

  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with a little water or milk)
  • 30g honey
  • 40g water
  • Pearl sugar (optional, for garnish)


  1. Mix together all final dough ingredients except the salt and butter until just combined. Cover and autolyse (rest) for 45-60 minutes.
  2. Add salt, and knead dough until gluten is moderately developed. The dough will start out sticky and rough but should gradually come together and feel quite smooth and stretchy. Add butter a tablespoon at a time, mixing the first completely before adding the second. Continue kneading until the gluten is very well developed and the dough passes the windowpane test as demonstrated here. The dough should be smooth and supple (and quite lovely to handle!). This will take quite some time, especially if done by hand. Consider it your arm workout for the day!
  3. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover, and bulk rise at room temp (73F) for 2 hours. The dough will be noticeably expanded, but not doubled. Fold, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours).
  4. Grease and line a Pullman Pan or 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang of at least 2 inches on the long sides (for easy removal later). Whisk together all filling ingredients.
  5. On a lightly floured surface (I prefer a Silpat), roll out the dough (straight from the fridge) into a square roughly 10 x 15 in. Spread your filling evenly over the surface, leaving a 1/2 inch border along one short edge. Turn the dough so the short end without the border is facing you. Brush the opposite end with water, and gently but tightly roll dough up like a jelly roll. Once rolled up, roll gently back and forth a few times to seal. Transfer the log to the fridge or freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up (optional).
  6. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise. Place the two sides next to each other, cut side up. Gently pinch the tops together and twist the two together, keeping the cut sides up. Transfer twist to the prepared pan. (See here for a some helpful pictures.)
  7. Cover with plastic and proof for about 6 hours at room temperature. When ready, the dough should look very puffy and have risen to the top of the pan.
  8. When the loaf is nearly finished rising, preheat the oven to 400F and prepare the egg wash. Just before baking, brush the surface lightly with egg wash.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes at 400F, then turn the oven down to 375F, rotate the pan, and bake for about 15 more minutes or until the loaf is well browned and registers at least 195F in the center. If the loaf is browning quickly, tent with foil. (I cover mine for the last 10 minutes or so.)
  10. Immediately after taking the loaf out, brush all over with honey simple syrup and top with pearl sugar, if desired. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

18 thoughts on “Double Pumpkin Sourdough Milk Bread

    1. Hey Lady! Good to hear from you; I miss seeing you around IG. I hope you’re well and let me know how the recipe works for you!

    1. Ahhh, there are so many places to use sourdough starter! Such a fun adventure! Happy pumpkin day to you too, Kelsey!

  1. Thank for this gorgeous recipe ,
    I love the colour and taste of pumpkin .
    Next time I’ll skip the milk powder and adding more milk in the dough ,
    I already know that is possible to do like that .
    I wish to attach some photos of my bread in here , but unfortunately is not possible .

    Best regards ,

  2. Hi !I love your recipes and I dream to try it but… I think it would be really bad if I try and .. What is sourdough starter ? Is it homemade ?
    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi — sourdough starter is natural yeast. I made my own (there are a lot of tutorials available online), but often local bakeries are willing to give / sell you some to get started.

  3. Made this with canned sweet potato puree instead of pumpkin and it came out fabulous! I reduced the sugar a little because sweet potato is more sweet than pumpkin. Only problem was that I had some difficulty getting a tight roll without squishing the filling out – probably need more practice with that.

  4. I just made this bread. It was incredible–tender crumb and so delicious. I used half pumpkin and half crabapple puree as it was all I had and it lent a tart sweetness to the filling. I baked mine for a good 20 minutes longer than posted but using tinfoil to keep the top from burning worked great. This bread takes time but I will definitely make it again!

  5. Hey I love your recipe. Just wondering if you could shape the bread and ferment over night in the fridge in a pan?

    1. Hi! In my experience enriched sourdoughs really benefit from a room temperature proof. I would be more inclined to proof overnight in a slightly cooler part of the kitchen rather than the fridge.

  6. This looks amazing! Can the sourdough starter be replaced with instant active yeast? Would would be the proportion if so?

    New bread maker here 🙂

    1. Hi Caili,
      You could probably make this with one packet of ADY (~7 grams), but you would need to add the ingredients for the starter/levain into the final dough ingredients to have the right ratios (i.e. add an additional 66g flour and 40g milk). The timings will be completely different as well (much faster). Hope that helps!

  7. Hi Ruth! This looks amazing! I am just getting started baking with sourdough and 18g seems very little to me. It must be very powerful! Do you have any substitution suggestions for the milk powder?

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Hi Marie, yes, 18g is just what you need to build the levain that powers the final loaf!

      You can omit the milk powder if you don’t have it — the milk proteins help with browning and an even stronger rise but the loaf should still work without it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *