Fall. (almost!) Pumpkin Pie. Warm Spices. Soft, tender bread just dying to be had next to your cup of coffee or tea. It’s a Pumpkin Pie Braid--pumpkin pie filling surrounded by a most delicious bread, braided and iced with a cinnamon glaze. You know you want some. And this recipe makes two, so you can share the love. Plus it’s that time of year, when thoughts turn to pumpkin and spice things, right? Make one for the house and one for the office, the nice neighbor that lets you borrow the hedge trimmer, the UPS guy (we all keep UPS busy, don’t we?), whoever you want to be nice to--or bribe. They’ll love you for it.
Read through to see how you can try Red Star PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast and win a VIP Prize Package, plus be entered to win a KitchenAid Mixer!
The giveaway is now closed, but the recipe is still fantastic, so check that out!
The winner is comment #116, Bob George. Congrats, Bob! Good luck in the KitchenAid Mixer Drawing from Red Star Yeast!
I love baking bread. It’s not scary--at least, not anymore. It used to make me nervous, especially the yeast part. Will it work? Did I kill it? Will I have a beautiful skyscraper loaf that reaches new heights, or will I bake a brick that can hold up my car while I change a tire? Relax!
Red Star has a new yeast called PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast that can ease all of your fears. They make baking bread easy, enjoyable and most importantly, reliable. It’s no fun to invest the time in baking bread just to have a big fat fail. You wan that crispy exterior, that rush of yeasty aroma hitting your nose when you tear open a hot loaf, and that tender crumb of a perfectly baked bread.
Red Star’s PLATINUM Superior Yeast is a premium instant yeast blended with dough improvers commonly used by professional bakers that will make your dough so forgiving that you will never be intimidated by yeast again!
• Simple to use. So forgiving it takes the intimidation out of baking with yeast!
• Strengthens the dough and improves dough tolerance to variations in kneading, rising, and flour quality.
• Produces consistent baked products home bakers will enjoy.
• Increases the amount of leavening retained in the dough.
• Decreases the risk of the dough collapsing after proofing or during baking.
• Increases oven ‘spring’ and the finished volume of the baked product.
• Works great in any bread recipe, but is particularly effective in producing healthy whole grain and sweet breads that are light, airy, and larger in volume. (How great is that?)
Red Star Premium Superior Baking Yeast has a wonderful video from Gesine Bullock-Prado on You Tube. Have a look to see the yeast in action and hear why it’s so fabulous. And a side note, I don’t know what Gesine put in those rolls, but I want some!
I put it to the test with this pumpkin pie braid. I read a great tip on the Red Star site for helping your dough to rise:
The microwave oven can also be used for the first rising of doughs. Place 1 cup of water in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Heat on high for 2 minutes. This creates a moist environment to keep the dough soft during rising. Place covered bowl of dough in microwave and close the door.
I can’t believe I’ve never thought of that! It works beautifully. I put the covered bowl in the warmed microwave, and walked away for about 40 minutes. When I returned, I almost had “the dough that ate the microwave.”
The recipe for the actual bread dough can be found here on Red Star’s site. I didn’t make any changes to the dough recipe. It’s a beautiful, egg enriched, tender bread that rolls out like nobody’s business! The pumpkin pie filling is adapted from Pillsbury. Don’t feel limited to pumpkin, use your favorite fillings!
Pumpkin Pie Filling for 2 Bread Braids
This has a deep, dark, not too sweet filling, and it tastes even better on the second day!
1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (this is about a whole can-the 14 oz size)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp chai spice blend (if you don't have this, just use cinnamon)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 egg yolks
1/2-2/3 cup chopped pecans - Optional (See Note)
Whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl and use to fill the breads.
NOTE: I added about 1/2-2/3 cup chopped pecans to the filling after using half of it in the first braid. So I ended up with one with and one without nuts.
You may think that make a bread braid is too hard, but it’s so simple with the correct cuts in the rolled out dough.
*I also did a simple egg wash over my braids before they went in the oven for nice color and shine.
To make the braids, you’re going to divide the dough in half. I like to roll my dough out for braids directly on a sheet of parchment paper, because I find it easier to transfer it to the baking sheet and bake it right on that paper.
Roll one half of the dough to about a 12x17 inch rectangle. Next, using a sharp blade or pizza cutter (which I use), cut strips along the long sides of the rectangle, about 1 inch wide and 2-3 inches long, leaving two flaps at each shorter end of the dough, like this:
Fold the two end flaps over the filling, kind of crimping the edges with your fingertips. Now start with the top left strip, folding all the way across the filling, and crimping it down gently. Next do the same to the top right strip, folding it all the way over the filling and pressing it down on the left side. Alternate all the way down, covering the filling up as you go. It should look like this:
(These are photos from an old post I did for the Daring Bakers, but they give you an idea of what the slits in the dough should look like.) You can see the technique in action here. She starts the actual technique at about 2:15 into the video. I notice she says cut diagonal strips, but she cuts straight ones. Also, I like to have the flaps folded up at the ends to keep the filling from leaking out during baking, but you can get a good idea of the crossing and crimping if you watch this.
Now you can transfer the parchment paper and the braid easily to your baking sheet--just slide it on. Follow last rising and baking directions from the recipe on Red Star’s site. I also added about 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon the icing recipe given there.
VIP Package Giveaway
Open to residents of the US and Canada!
One of you will receive a VIP Package from Red Star for your very own! It comes in a beautiful black box tied with a silver bow, and includes:
- Samples of Red Star PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast so you can see the difference for yourself.
- A beautiful pinstripe Red Star apron.
- A Red Star wood cutting/serving board.
- A reusable grocery bag.
- Coupons for the yeast.
As a bonus, the winner of this VIP Package will also be entered to win a KitchenAid Mixer!
1. Leave a comment here (with a valid email address-which will not be made public) and tell me what you think you’d make first with Red Star PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast.
2. Follow Red Star on Facebook. Leave a comment here telling me you did.
3. Follow Red Star on Twitter. Leave a comment here telling me you did. And when you do, you can follow along at #RedStarPLATINUM for all the latest!
4. Tweet about this giveaway, and leave a comment here saying you did.
5. Share this page on Facebook--leave another separate comment.
6. Pin this post, and you guessed it, leave a comment here.
So you have SIX ways to earn entries, and remember, whoever wins this giveaway gets entered in the KitchenAid Mixer giveaway!
I’ll choose a random winner on Thursday, September 27th and email the lucky person. You’ll have 48 hours to respond or I’ll have to choose another winner. Like I said, open to the US and Canada!
Disclaimer: I was sent a VIP package at no cost, and was not paid for my opinions.