Sourdough Pumpkin Bread Recipe – The ultimate bread for the fall

The wind is tugging at the yellowing leaves on the trees. The earthy, moist and somewhat decaying smells of nature. The leaves that rustles on the ground as you walk through them. The chill wind on your face, as you take a brisk walk. Can you tell that I love fall? This is my recipe for sourdough pumpkin bread.

Pumpkins are a surefire sign of fall and also Halloween. In Denmark celebrating Halloween a tradition that came back in the new Millenium. Although it was celebrated before the 20th Century, when it came back it was the America-inspired Halloween.

Full of Ghouls, Ghosts and Goblins, and yes, sexy nurses, and pumpkins galore.

sourdough pumpkin bread on a board in front of real pumkins

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The dough in this sourdough pumpkin bread recipe

The vitals

Total weight1534 grams
Prefermented flour9.1%
Yield2 small boules

The dough

The dough for this pumpkin bread is a wheat dough. 80% bread flour and 20% whole grain wheat flour.

In contains pumpkin purée which is another name for canned pumpkin. I use the Libby branded pumpkin purée which is the same that I use for pumpkin pie.

Since it’s shaped like a pumpkin, I also add pumpkin seeds, which is a delicious chewy addition.

The crumb in the sourdough pumpkin bread in this recipe

I make the bread with 70% hydration, but since pumpkin purée is about 90% hydration, you may want to lower that to 60% or 65%.

You can easily add more water, but it’s hard to take out again, so I suggest you start with 60% and knead the dough all the way through and then decide if the dough needs more water.

The dough should be pretty stiff.

The salt is at 2.2% to get that delicious pumpkin flavor to top.

The inoculation is 20%. If your kitchen is on the cold side you may want to up it to 30%.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
535gbread flour80.0%
134gwhole grain wheat flour20.0%
134gsourdough starter (100% hydration)20.0%
134gpumpkin, canned20.0%
134gpumpkin seeds20.0%

If you want to play with the formula, change quantity, hydration, inoculation or other parameters, you can do that here in my Bread Calculator.

The conclusion

This bread evokes the same feelings like all the things in the introduction to this article. It’s the epitome of fall.

The crust fill of pumpkin seeds

The smell of pumpkin and cinnamon coming off of the bread as it comes out of the oven is absolutely intoxicating.

The crust is super thin and crispy. The crumb is extremely soft and the chewy pumpkin seeds that are scattered throughout give a wonderful crunch.

The crumb with the cinnamon stalk

This bread goes with almost anything you can come up with, both sweet and savory.

It goes well with butter and jam, cheeses, meats and an absolute favorite here at home is a toasted piece with cinnamon butter melted into the bread. Oh my freakin’ God.

So, go ahead and make it. It’s fall and it’s time for fall-inspired bread.

Please share this recipe for sourdough pumpkin bread on social media

This is my recipe for sourdough pumpkin bread. If you like the recipe please consider sharing it with like-minded bread lovers on social media.

If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as so I can see it. That would make me very happy.

Pumpkin Sourdough Bread

Course: All
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin bread, sourdough bread, sourdough pumpkin bread
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Proofing: 11 hours
Total: 1 day
Servings: 2 small boules
Calories: 1652kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Sourdough Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 small boule)
Calories 1652 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Fat 39g60%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Sodium 2934mg128%
Carbohydrates 268g89%
Fiber 20g83%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 64g128%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Wonderful and savory pumpkin sourdough bread. It's perfect toasted, with cheese or meats, or even with cinnamon butter
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  • 535 g bread flour
  • 134 g whole-grain wheat flour
  • 448 g water
  • 134 g sourdough starter
  • 15 g salt
  • 134 g canned pumpkin puree


  • 134 g pumpkin seeds
  • boiling water, as needed


  • 2 cinnamon sticks


Mix the dough

  • Add 535g bread flour, 134g whole-grain wheat flour and 15g salt to a bowl.
  • Mix it with your hands to combine.
  • Add 134g canned pumpkin and 134g active sourdough starter (fed and grown to its peak).
  • Add 448g water. If you are opting for 65% hydration add 411g water, and if you are opting for 60% hydration add 374g water. The safe route is to start at the lower hydration and then add more water.
  • It does take a while for the water to leak out of the pumpkin, so make sure you are careful.
  • Mix until there is no dry flour left.
  • Let the dough rest covered for one hour.

Create the soaker

  • Add 134g pumpkin seeds to a small bowl and pour over boiling water until they are covered.
  • Leave until you need it.

Bulk fermentation

  • Strain the water from the seeds and include them during the first set of stretch and folds.
  • Perform 3 sets of stretch and folds spaced out by 30 minutes.
  • After the last set do a windowpane test. If the dough doesn't pass the test, leave it for another 30 minutes and then move on.
  • If the dough passes, put it in a see-through bulking container with straight sides.
  • Let the dough grow about 75%. The reason we let it grow more is that we don't want explosive oven spring as we usually do.

Divide and pre-shape

  • Dump the dough out Divide the dough into two equally sized pieces.
  • Pre-shape each piece of dough into a boule (see the video for technique).
  • Let them rest on the counter for 20 minutes.

Final shape

  • Final shape each ball into a taut boule.
  • Put them in 7-inch round bannetons and put each banneton in a plastic bag.
  • Put them in the fridge for at least 8 hours, up to 48 hours.

Bake the bread

  • Heat the oven to 230°C/450°F.
  • Cut 8 pieces of butchers twine at about 35 cm/14 inches length (you need 4 for each bread).
  • Grab a dough from the fridge and dust the bottom liberally with rice flour. You don't want it to stick to the peel.
  • Flip the dough onto the peel.
  • Sneak a piece of string underneath the dough and tie it at the top. Not too tight, not to slack.
  • Tie the other three strings so that the bread is divided into eighths.
  • Stick a piece of whole cinnamon in the middle of dough to resemble the stalk.
  • Open the oven and move the dough to the dutch oven.
  • Close the dutch oven and the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Then open the oven and remove the lid of the dutch oven and bake 20 minutes more to brown the bread.
  • Take the bread out of the oven and place it on a wire rack.
  • Repeat for the other bread.


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  1. Lisa M Daly Reply

    I found the 70% hydration to be too much. The dough was extremely wet and sticky. Ill try again with 60%. I should have followed your advice and started with the lower amount.