Let's celebrate autumn and Thanks Giving with a Pumpkin Challah.
The pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time and featured also at Halloween. The Turkey shaped Pumpkin Challah is perfect for a Thanksgiving day, Halloween and Hanukkah. It tastes tiny bit sweet and subtly spiced like the season. Surprise you guests with you masterpiece Turkey.
I was browsing through and came across the Challah. Challah is a special Jewish Bread eaten on Sabbath and Holidays. I was fascinated by the history and the symbolism behind it.
Then it just struck me. Why not a Pumpkin Challah depicting a Turkey? This would serve so many occasions that falls together. The turkey was one of my biggest desire to make out of the bread. It is quite simple and we get the most adorable turkey out of Pumpkin Challah.
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Step 1: Ingredients
Preparation Time - 1.5 Hours
Cooking Time - 1 Hour
Serves - 8
½ cup warm water
1 ½ packages active dry yeast (about 3½ tsp)
3 - 4 cups white bread flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup honey
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg + 1 egg yolk for the dough and
1 egg for the glaze
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons water
Oven Pressure Cooker
Step 2: Yeast
Mix the yeast into the warm water in a bowl. Sprinkle sugar in it. Leave it for 10 minutes to dissolve. It will foam and and bubble.
Step 3: Pumpkin Puree
If you have canned Pumpkin puree you can use that. If not, you can make the pumpkin puree from scratch.
You can use any method to cook the pumpkin. The basic idea is to cook the pumpkin and make puree out of it.
Pressure cooker method:
Slice the Pumpkin into small pieces. Fill the pressure cooker with some water to cook the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin in the pressure cooker on a stand. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and place the whistle on top. Cook the pumpkin for 1-2 whistles. When done, remove the pumpkin from the cooker and blend it in a blender to form the puree.
Step 4: To Make Dough
Whisk in the egg and egg yolk. Add cinnamon, Nutmeg and spices and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add the pumpkin puree, salt, Oil and honey. Mix well.
Step 5: Make the Dough
Add the white bread flour. Do not add the entire quantity of the flour together. Add the flour little by little. With a Hand mixer bring the dough together. If the dough is sticky add more flour. Adjust the flour to get the right soft consistency.
Knead your dough for 5-10 minutes.
Put your dough in a warm, dry bowl and covered.
Put in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour until it doubles in size.
Step 6: Body, Neck and Beak of Turkey
Take a baking dish. Line the Parchment paper over it.
Take a portion of the dough. make an oval shape out of it. This will form the body of the turkey.
Take a portion of the dough. Roll and make a cylinder shape out of it. Bend it as shown in the photo. The cylindrical roll should follow from the body and end like a mouth.
At the mouth portion make a slit. Pull down the lower portion of the slit. his will resemble the Turkey's wattle.
Step 7: Feathers - Making Slits
Take a large portion of the dough.
Make a semicircle out of it. Make 8 sections out of it. Each section is going to braided to form the feather.
If the section is too smal make them into two sub sections and just twist one over the other.
Step 8: Feather Braiding
If the section is large enough to make three sub section we can do the 3 strand braiding.
Divide each of the other sections into 3 sub sections. Do the 3 strand braiding. Take left hand side sub section strand over the middle strand. Take the right hand sub section over the middle strand. In this way complete the 3 strand braiding for all he sections.
Since the dough is quite sticky after raising it is quite tricky to get neat strands. But after making the braids you can adjust the way it looks.
Step 9: Assemble
Now assemble all the body parts of the turkey. Apply Egg wash.
Let it rest for another 30 minutes until it doubles in size again.
Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes.
Apply Egg wash again. Applying Egg wash twice ensure that we get a nice brown layer.
Step 10: Bake
Bake the Pumpkin Challah for 20 minutes. Keep checking in between. Once a golden color appears take out the pumpkin challah.
Slice the pumpkin Challah. The challah is soft and airy. The pumpkin with the spices gives a heavenly taste.