Introduction: Pumpkin Spice Sourdough Bread in the Shape of a Pumpkin

About: Hobby baker :)

With autumn already in full swing and Halloween around the corner, we felt like it was time to play around with shapes and spices a little more and came up with this pumpkin spice sourdough bread.

It was a test but it worked really well and see how beautiful this bread turned out. Also thanks to the pumpkin spice, the taste is quite unique as well.

If you enjoy this recipe, you can find more on our page here: bread recipes.

The original recipe can be found here: Pumpkin Spice Sourdough Bread.

Step 1: Things to Know Before You Start

Time schedule

  • Steps / Work time / Waiting time
  • Mix / ~15 minutes / None
  • Bulk fermentation, Stretch & Fold/ ~10 minutes / 3 hours
  • Shape / ~5 minutes / None
  • Proof / None / 12-14 hours
  • Score / ~5 minutes / None
  • Bake / ~5 minutes / 45 minutes
  • Cool / None / 3 hours
  • Remove twine / ~10 minutes / None

In about 20 to 22 hours you will have a pumpkin spice sourdough bread that looks like an actual pumpkin.

Total ingredients needed

  • 250 g Mature sourdough starter from high gluten flour
  • 410 g All-purpose flour
  • 10 g Salt
  • 10 g Honey
  • 1 g Yeast – Fresh (optional)
  • 1 g Pumpkin spice
  • 250 g Water
  • ~10 g Canola or sunflower oil

Baking Tools needed

  • Scale
  • Large bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Clean kitchen towel
  • 3 to 6 meters of twine
  • Bread lame or sharp knife
  • Board (carving board / cutting board / pizza peel)
  • Parchment paper
  • Round banneton proofing basket
  • Baking stone or baking plate (the thicker, the better)

If you have thick twine (the thicker, the better) you will need about 3 meters. If you only have thin twine (like we did), you will need to have 6 meters so you can make the twine thicker by doubling.

Step 2: Mix


  • 250 g Mature sourdough starter from high gluten flour
  • 410 g All-purpose flour
  • 10 g Salt
  • 10 g Honey
  • 1 g Yeast – Fresh (optional)
  • 1 g Pumpkin spice
  • 250 g Water – 24°C (75,2°F)


  • Mix all of the mentioned ingredients in a stand mixer for 5 minutes on speed level one and 7 minutes on speed level two
  • The dough should be smooth after mixing and not stick to the bowl a lot
  • If you don't have a stand mixer, you will have to knead the dough for about 15-20 minutes

Step 3: Bulk Fermentation, Stretch & Fold

  • Cover the dough and let it rest for a total of 3 hours at 20-22°C (68-71,6°F)
  • During that time stretch & fold the dough every 30 minutes (4 times in total) and after the 4th time, let it ferment further for 1 hour until 3 hours are reached in total
  • After each stretch and fold put it back to the bowl and cover it again so it doesn’t dry out
  • Here is a small guide how stretching and folding is done:
  1. Place the dough on a well-floured surface
  2. Spread it out to a rectangle
  3. Fold it in thirds like a letter and dust the loose flour off of it after each fold
  4. Fold it up again as you did before, but this time from bottom to top and top to bottom and dust the loose flour off of it after each fold

Step 4: Shape #1

  • We want to get our dough in the shape of a round ball
  • One way to do this is the following:
  • Place the dough on a very lightly floured surface
  • Pull the edges from the sides in the air and then in the middle of the dough to create a smooth outer skin on all sides of the dough ball

Step 5: Shape #2

  • Place the dough ball seam-side down on a not floured surface
  • Put both of your hands with your ball of the hand on the surface behind the dough ball
  • Pull your hands just a bit towards you very slowly while keeping your ball of the hand on the surface
  • Turn the dough ball 180° and do the same thing again
  • Repeat these steps about 4 to 6 more times
  • At the end you should have a nice tight surface on top and the sides of the dough ball

Step 6: Shaped Dough

  • At the end you should have a nice tight surface on top and the sides of the dough ball

Step 7: Proof

  • Dust your proofing basket with all-purpose flour
  • Put your previously shaped dough seam-side-up in the dusted proofing basket
  • Add flour on top and cover it with a towel
  • Let it proof for 12 to 14 hours in the fridge at 5°C (41°F)

Step 8: Wrapping the Dough With Twine #1

  • Take your proofed dough out of the fridge and place it on the counter
  • Cut the twine into 4 pieces of 75 cm length
  • If you only have thin twine, cut the twine into 4 pieces of 150 cm length and fold each one in the middle so you create thicker ones
  • Fill a small bowl with about 10 g of canola or sunflower oil
  • Pull each twine through the oil and press some of the oil out so the twine is not too soggy

Step 9: Wrapping the Dough With Twine #2

  • Now we are going to create a pattern like we would prepare a pizza or cake to be divide into eight even parts
  • To do this place the first twine horizontally, the second one vertically, the third one diagonally from bottom left to top right and the fourth one diagonally from top left to bottom right on top of the dough so the middle of the twine is in the center

Step 10: Wrapping the Dough With Twine #3

  • Place parchment paper on top of the dough and the pizza peel on top of that
  • Gently take your dough out of the proofing basket by flipping it upside down on the pizza peel

Step 11: Wrapping the Dough With Twine #4

  • Dust the top and sides of the dough with all-purpose flour
  • Take each twine and tie it on top so it pushes in the dough a bit to the center creating a pumpkin shape
  • Be careful not to push too much as you only want to create a little dent and don't want your dough to break down
  • Cut of any loose ends

Step 12: Score

  • If is up to you what cuts you want to make, but they should not be too deep (max 1 cm)
  • In every eighth make either one cut from top to bottom or several small cuts so it looks like the strands of a small leaf

Step 13: Bake

  • Preheat oven to 260°C (500°F) for ~45 minutes with the upper and lower heat function
  • Put the loaf in the oven, create steam and bake for 40 to 45 minutes
  • You can create steam by pouring hot water (about 100-250 ml) in an iron cast or another heat resistant vessel (preferrably filled with lava rocks)
  • !!! Be carefull not to burn yourself !!!
  • After 10 minutes lower the temperature to 220°C (428°F), let the steam out by opening the oven door for ~45 seconds and close it again

Step 14: Cool

  • Let your pumpkin spice sourdough bread cool for 3 hours on some kind of grid

Step 15: Remove Twine

  • Cut each twine at the top and gently remove it so you don't damage the crust
  • Don't panic if your bread wrapped around the twine (we had the same "issue")
  • Because we oiled the twine, you can easily pull it through the dough on the bottom side
  • You just need to find a starting point from where you can start to peel the twine out of the dough

Step 16: Conclusion


Little crunchy and firm but not extremely hearty in flavour.


This pumpkin spice sourdough bread has extremely fine and even pores. You can see the spices we used in the dough which gives the crumb a unique look.


When enjoying this sourdough bread, you can clearly tell the spices we used for the dough. It tastes a little sweetish which is due to the pumpkin spice that includes cinnamon and cloves amongst others. Still this spicy taste is kind of hearty.

Goes good with

As always: Butter! For this bread even more than for the others as the butter supports the spices very well. Apart from that we felt that this bread is better in combination with sweet toppings like honey and marmalade or cream cheese instead of adding hearty cold cuts on top of the hearty taste this bread already has.

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