A naturally sweet festive treat for Christmas or the New Year. I came up with the recipe as this time of the year I have dozens of jars of marmalade from our very productive Seville Orange tree.
If you like, you can write the year with almonds on the bread just before putting in the oven, and so create a new version of the vasilipita, the Greek sweet that we divide and share the New Year.
Anyway you decorate it this bread is delicious and accompanies cheeses –the sharper the better. It is also the ideal bread to serve with foie gras. You can slice any leftover and bake in a low oven to dry and enjoy as snack or use as bruschetta with various sweet or savory toppings.
Yields 2 small, or one large round loaf
1 cup fine semolina or pasta flour
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (optional)
3 ½ cups fresh pumpkin and tangerine pulp (see NOTE)
1 cup Seville orange or any kind of citrus marmalade
About 1/4 cup spring water (non chlorinated), as needed
Olive oil for the bowl
Blanched almonds to decorate (optional)
Place flours, yeast, salt and pepper in the bowl of a standing mixer and toss with a spatula. Make a well in the center and add the pumpkin-tangerine pulp and marmalade. Fit the bowl to the mixer and work with the dough hook on low for 1 minute. With the motor running add water if needed and work the dough for 5 minutes or more, occasionally stopping to turn over the dough with a large spatula. The dough should still be somewhat wet and sticky, but should start to come off the sides of the bowl. If too dry, add a little water, if too wet add a few tablespoons all purpose flour.
Lightly oil a large transparent or semi-transparent bowl, as well as a piece of plastic wrap. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Transfer to the oiled bowl. Cover with the oiled plastic wrap and let rise until double its original volume: about 1 1/2 hour or more.
(When the dough has expanded to about 1 1/2 times its size you may transfer the bowl with the dough to the refrigerator, and leave it overnight and up to 24 hours. It will continue to rise slowly. Before proceeding further, bring to room temperature).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and if you like, halve with a spatula.
Form one or two loaves and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with oiled plastic wraps and let the loaves rise for another 30 minutes –they won’t rise much.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Brush the breads with water or milk and decorate with almonds, if you like.
Bake for 5 minutes, sprinkling the inside of the oven with water twice, then reduce the heat to 375F and continue baking the breads for 40 minutes or more, until golden brown an hollow-sounding when tapped at the bottom. A meat thermometer inserted in the center should reach 205 F. When done, transfer to a rack to cool completely before you slice to serve.
- To make the the pumpkin-tangerine pulp, work in the blender 3 cups grated fresh pumpkin together with 3 tangerines (peel and flesh). Halve the tangerines to remove the pips, if there are any.
- If you opt for canned pumpkin, work one cup in the blender with the tangerines just to facilitate the process, and then mix with more canned pumpkin to get the amount needed.