Pumpkin Swirl Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

by - November 12, 2019

This recipe is adapted from Carrot Swirl Sough Bread @ Bread by Elise instagramer. I replaced carrot puree with pumpkin puree.  The method is adapted from Full Proof Baking.  Thank you to Elise and Kristen.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Pumpkin Swirl Open Crumb Sourdough Bread


Total flour:  400g + 40g (from levain)

Pumpkin Dough:
160g bread flour (80%)
40g wholewheat flour (20%)
100g water (50%)
100g mashed pumpkin or pumpkin puree (50%)
4g salt (2%)
40g levain (20%)

Plain Dough:
160g bread flour (80%)
40g wholewheat flour (20%)
160g water (80%)
4g salt (2%)
40g levain (20%) 

80g active sourdough starter (100% hydration) – 20%
  • Please reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go as each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 
  • Banneton (proofing basket)'s size - 8.5" oval shape
  • Ambient temperature after adding in levain:  25C 
  1. Feed starter - Feed ratio of 1:1:1, keep at room temperature (28C – 30C) and wait until tripled, around 3 – 4 hours.  Please feed your starter at the ratio that fit your schedule as long as the starter is at its peak when use.  
  2. Autolyse - In a separate mixing bowl, mix all the pumpkin dough and plain dough ingredients (except levain) individually, stir until there is no more dry flour with a spatula.  Cover and leave for 1 to 3 hours.
  3. Levain - Wet your hand, add 40g levain into the pumpkin and hand mixing until incorporated, about 3 - 4 minutes.  Repeat the same to plain dough. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Stretch and Fold - Lightly mist the counter top with water.  Wet your hand and scrapper.  Transfer pumpkindough to the counter top.  Pull and fold the four sides, flip over and round the dough.  Return to the same bowl.  Repeat the same to plain dough. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Lamination -  Lightly mist the counter top with water and wet your hand.  Pour the plain dough onto the counter top. Pull from centre out to form a rectangle shape.  Repeat the same to pumpkin dough. Carefully lift up the pumpkin dough and place on top of the plain dough. Pick up one edge and fold into the center.  Pick up other edge and fold into the center over first section.  Fold the top down half way.  Fold the bottom up.  Put dough in a new dish (square pyrex dish).  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Coil Fold 1 - Fold dough in the dish. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Coil Fold 2 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes
  8. Coil Fold 3 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for 90 minutes.
  9. Shape - Flour the counter top.  Shape and transfer to a heavily flour banneton.  
  10. Proof - Proof at room temperature (RT) for 15 - 20 minutes.  Then retard overnight in the fridge for 12 - 16 hours.
  11. Preheat oven, with the dutch oven at 250C for 30 minutes before baking.
  12. Take bread dough out from the fridge, invert onto a parchment paper and scoring.  Immediately transfer the dough with the parchment paper to your preheated dutch oven.
  13. Bake with cover on for 20 minutes.  Remove the cover and lower the temperature to 230C, continue bake for another 20 minutes.
  14. Remove bread from oven and dutch oven. Let it cool on rack completely before slicing.

Usually 3 coil folds should be enough.  But, sometimes you may need extra coil fold if your dough is spread and not enough gluten develop.



The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 


A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  

There are so many ways and methods of how to maintain the starter.  Below is my method of starter maintenance.  This is just for your reference. Please try and find a way or schedule that works best for you.

I bake almost everyday.  So, my starter is left at room temperature and I feed it twice a day every 12 hours at its peak when it is tripled.

10.00 am - at ratio 1:10:10 at room temperature 26C - 27C
10.00 pm - at ratio 1:10:10 at room temperature 25C - 26C 

I feed a very small amount of 1g starter + 10g water + 10g flour if I am not baking, so that I will not end up with too much discard.  When I am baking, I will feed the starter accordingly to make up the quantity required by the recipe to be baked. If I know that I won't be baking for a few days, I will then feed it only once a day at 1:10:10, transfer to the fridge when it is doubled, and feed again 24 hours later.

If you do not bake daily or if you bake perhaps once or twice a week, then you may place your starter in the fridge and feed once a week.  But, you will need to refresh your starter 2 days before the baking day. There is no way around this, sourdough baking takes planning! 

How I judge my starter is healthy?  My starter usually tripled in size (or at least double) in within 3 - 4 hours at room temperature (27C - 28C) for feeding ratio of (1:1:1 = starter:water:flour)

When is a starter at its peak?  My sourdough starter is usually at its peak when it is tripled in the jar. The surface of my starter looks bubbling and uneven.  It usually stays at its peak within 30 - 60 minutes before it starts to reduce/fall.  

Why use starter at its peak?  This is when the starter is most active and it will result in a better rise for your bread in general.  By the way, you can use when it is doubled/before its peak too.  But, not it starts to fall.


Bulk fermentation starts when you add in levain to the dough and ends when the dough is ready for shaping.  


Ambient temperature plays a very important part in sourdough baking.  It will affect the dough temperature and eventually affect your fermentation time.  The cooler ambient temperature will extend the fermentation time.  The greater degree of proof, the stronger the dough will be as explained by Trevor J. Wilson. 

The ambient temperature that worked for me is between 24C - 25C and bulk fermentation time is between 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours.  At the end of bulk fermentation, my dough would have increased 50% in volume. 

But, my kitchen ambient temperature (without air-conditioner) was 29C - 30C.  So, I have to bring down the temperature. 

How to bring down ambient temperature?
  1. Air-conditioner room - Rest the dough in air-conditioner room during bulk fermentation.  I used this option sometimes.  I turned on my air-conditioner when I added in levain and try to maintain temperature between 24C - 25C.
  2. Home oven (that's turned off) -  Place ice cooler packs inside along with an ambient temperature thermometer.  Then place your dough during bulk fermentation in the oven. Keep an eye on that thermometer and try to keep between 24 - 25 C.


Too strong (tension or elastic) dough will take a longer time to increase (proof) in volume.  So too strong dough may not have good oven spring and open crumb.  While too weak dough (extensibility) dough may not hold it shape and rise with good oven spring too.  

So over-working the dough (too strong dough) or under-working (weak dough) may affect the crumb structure and oven spring.  

The number of coil folds is not fixed and very much depends on the strength and extensibility of the dough.  

As demonstrated in an experiment by Kristen (Full Proof Baking) the over-worked dough rose super tall but was smaller in overall size and had a more dense crumb while the control dough rose tall during the oven spring and had a better overall result.

How do we know when it is enough and no more coil folds are needed? 
We usually do 3 coil folds for this method.  However, if by the second coil fold the dough is strong with less extensibility as you lift up a part of the dough then it should be the last coil fold, or just do a half coil folds instead of full. The resistance of the dough to being folded should be an indication to refrain from folding further.

How do we know when to do the next coil fold or stretch & fold?
When the dough spreads. Please do not rely on the time given in the recipe as it is just a guideline.  Please watch your dough and not the clock.  


You may wonder why most of the recipes asked to add salt after autolyze and adding levain.  Salt will tighten the gluten and make it harder to stretch. 

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  1. Replies
    1. Hi there,

      Sorry for the typo error.. It is 4g.

      Cheers :)

  2. Is it a must to leave overnight in the freidge? Cos I have limited room. If not so, how long should I leave at room temperature before bake

    1. Hi, I never tried same day bake before. But, I have seen some baker did it. After shaping proof in baneton for 45 mins to 60 minutes at room temperature.


  3. Can I use wholemeal flour instead of whole wheat flour?

    1. Hi, thank you for asking. I guess should be ok. But, I have not tried wholemeal on this bread yet.

      Cheers :)

  4. Can I find out when do I know if my dough has proved enough please? Any tips? Thank you

    1. Hi, when doing coil fold, sometimes you will be some big bubble or the dough will puff up a bit. You may not get nice oven spring if the dough proof over proof during bulk fermentation.

      Cheers :)

  5. Hi, why i get a very wet dough when add levain to plain dough? And i end up with uncook bread...

    1. Hi, thank you for trying this recipe. It could be the flour. This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently.

      In this case, please reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go. This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.

      This recipe was adapted from @ Bread by Elise instagramer.

      Cheers :)

  6. hi Paws, do you think this recipe would work with purple sweet potato?

    1. Hi, yes, it should work the same. But, I have not tried. But, please take note pumpkin always contain more liquid than sweet potatoes.

      Cheers :)

  7. Hi , can I double the recipe ?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. Yes, of course.

      Cheers :)

  8. hello ther! can i double check with you on the banetton size. 8.5" oval? is this a bigger loaf than your usual 6.5" oval ones??

    1. Hi there, Yes.. Cheers :)
      The base measurement is is 8.5" and top (mouth)is 10".