HAPPY CHALLAH-WEEN (Pumpkin Challah Bread recipe)

We picked up some amazing pumpkins at White Gates Farm and one is just aching to become our jack-o-lantern. The pie pumpkins have been our table centerpieces.  I love pumpkins in the fall and winter because they store well, they can be added to many dishes for a depth of flavor (and vitamins and nutrients).  They make great baby puree and blends.  But the desserts are really why we know and love pumpkins the most. 

We have an abundance of eggs, thanks to the hens-that-are-not-roosters…


And besides breakfast, we are eating them in just about everything.  I keep trying to use them up and they just keep coming.These rich treats then need to be shared to warm bellies and hearts as the chill comes in.

Of course, if you know anything about our baking and cooking, we are all about the flavor of the ingredients.  Our apple pie has to taste like apples, so our pumpkin pie is going to definitely taste like pumpkin (or butternut squash, but that’s another story). So while everything is instagrammed and pinterested PUMPKIN SPICE whatnot… we went for mixing it up with our eggs to make a lovely and rich bread. The CHALLAH.

One of my happiest moment last week was making this challah-ween bread, bringing it to a potluck and hearing the sweet silence of everyone savoring it…and then the mmmmmm’s and sighs of delight when there were more slices warming in the oven.  OK, enough teasing.  Making Pumpkin challah bread has many steps but it’s so worth it.  And take the time to slowly move through it.  You can, of course use pureed/canned pumpkin, but just buy another pie pumpkin and roast it alongside the one you will be baking for the pumpkin pie.  You can’t beat the fresh roasted taste.


How to Make pumpkin Puree

First,  chop your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds, place up or down on a lined or greased baking sheet, and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. it should be soft and a fork or knife should slide in easily.  Scoop out flesh and puree with a blender or mash with a potato masher.



Happy Challah-Ween Pumpkin Challah Bread


  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast, (1 1/2 packages)
  • 1 cup warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
  • 3/4 cup egg yolks, (11 large eggs), plus 1 large egg yolk for glaze (YUP! A DOZEN EGGS!)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for bowl
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree (see instructions above recipe), or one 15-ounce can
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine egg yolks with  1 cup warm water and yeast. In a medium bowl, combine salt, canola oil, honey, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Replace paddle attachment with dough-hook attachment, and add the pumpkin mixture to the egg yolk water mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined.




2. Slowly add flour, 1 cup at a time, until all the flour is incorporated into dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.



3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough, and then divide in half. Each half of the dough should be split into 3 equal sized pieces. Then braid it into a -10 inch loaf. Place the loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.




4. While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix remaining egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the loaves with the egg glaze, and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, and serve.



We enjoyed this bread with dinner, as french toast, for BLT’s, and sandwiches of all kinds, like breakfast sandwiches, with eggs. Man that’s a lot of eggs. Enjoy!



Looking for more recipes for your holiday dinner?  We pulled together a complete menu with easy to prepare, local recipes that showcase farm raised ingredients in their pure form.  Click here to take a look!

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