Here's one of the softest, fluffiest bread loaves I've ever made, and guess what's the main ingredient? Pumpkin puree. This healthy vegan pumpkin sandwich bread is easy to make, with no eggs, milk or even butter required. Every bite is bursting with the flavors of fall.
Pumpkin purée gives bread the loveliest orange color, and it has a subtly sweet flavor from the pumpkin itself and today’s featured sweetener — maple syrup. Isn’t that a match made in heaven? As for the texture, this yeast bread comes out soft and fluffy from the oven, and it has a moist and tender crumb.
To make this orange treat, you’ll need bread flour, which creates stronger protein bonds — ideal for moist doughs. You’ll also need instant yeast, salt, a dash of olive oil and our key ingredients — pumpkin purée and maple syrup.
As for the pumpkin purée, make sure you use solid-pack purée and not pumpkin pie filling. The cans are often remarkably similar. If you’re feeling crafty, make your own pumpkin puree in a food processor — roast the pumpkin’s flesh in the oven and blitz with a pinch of salt.
Pumpkin Sandwich Bread is fantastic during the holidays, of course, but it’s handy all year round. Here’s the recipe.
Here's why I love this recipe
- vegan - no eggs, milk or butter required
- only 7 ingredients
- healthier than regular white bread
- easy to prepare if you have a stand mixer or bread machine
- easy way to get rid of leftover pumpkin
- can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Ingredients Used to Make This Pumpkin Sandwich Bread Recipe
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the baking aisle, or the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Bread Flour - Bread flour is highly recommended for this recipe for the best texture and structure. I used King Arthur Bread Flour. Please read the note on the substitution section below if using other flours.
- Instant Yeast - you can find instant yeast in the baking section near the flours. My favorite is SAF Instant Premium Yeast, which works quickly and consistently produces great results. I recommend using instant yeast over active yeast for this recipe since active yeast (unlike instant yeast) needs to be activated in water, which we don't add until the very end.
- Maple Syrup - I used maple syrup for this recipe but you can use other liquid sweeteners of choice like honey, agave syrup, or liquid stevia
- Salt - Pink Himalayan salt is what I have at home, so it’s what I use, but you can use any kind for this recipe.
- Pumpkin puree - I used canned pumpkin puree, which you can find in the baking aisle.
- Olive Oil - I like using light olive oil since it has a neutral flavor, but you can also any cooking oil of your choice like coconut oil, or avocado oil instead
- I used a KitchenAid Stand Mixer with a dough hook to knead the dough. You're also welcome to use a bread machine, or knead the dough by hand.
- I used a 9 x 4 x 4 pullman loaf pan for this recipe, which helps to create tall breads with straight sides/ edges that's perfect for baking sandwich breads. If you don't have a pullman loaf pan, you can also use a 9 x 5 loaf pan instead.
More Pumpkin Recipes (HERE)
How to Make
Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Sandwich Bread
In the bowl of the stand mixer, incorporate the instant yeast into the bread flour, along with the salt.
Add in the maple syrup and pumpkin puree. Start to knead the dough at a low setting (speed 2) for about a minute, until all the ingredients are combined.
NOTE: If there are still dry ingredients remaining, add water 1 Tbsp at a time* until all the ingredients are just barely combined, with no dry ingredients remaining.
*The water you may need to add can vary depending on the protein content of the flour, the water content in the puree, as well as the humidity and temperature of the kitchen. Be sure to add one tablespoon at a time, so you don’t overhydrate the dough.
Add the olive oil (and additional water or flour, if needed) and continue to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball.
**Additional 1-2 Tablespoons of bread flour (or additional water) may be necessary depending on the protein content of the bread flour, the water content in the pumpkin, as well as the humidity and temperature of the kitchen.
Remove the finished dough from the mixer bowl and place the dough in a lightly greased bowl.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes.
***note: It's best if the bowl is put in a warm place, and personally, I prefer using the oven that's been preheated for just a quick 10 seconds and spritzed with some water. The moist and warm conditions are perfect for the yeast bread to rise without it drying out. You can also place a bowl of hot water inside the oven so that the steam helps to maintain the humidity. This is especially useful during the winter months, when the conditions are cold and dry.
Punch down the dough, then remove from bowl. Place on a generously floured surface and divide into 4 equal-sized pieces.
Use a small rolling pin to flatten each piece into a 6 x 9 inch rectangles, and fold into thirds. Starting from the long side, roll the dough tightly into a tight cylinder (like a sushi roll or cinnamon roll). Pinch the ends to seal. Repeat with the other 3 pieces and place in a well-oiled bread pan.
Let the dough rise again for 40-60 minutes until puffy. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350F / 180C
Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then cover / tent the bread with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the interior of the bread reaches 190°F.
Take the bread out of the oven, turn it out on a rack, and cool it slightly before slicing.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
I made this bread recipe as basic and neutral flavored as possible so that people can customize it to fit their own tastes. Here are some awesome ways you can make this bread your own 🙂
- Add more flavor! Add up to 1 Tbsp of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to bring out the fall flavors of this recipe. If you want a sweeter version of this bread, you can add an additional 3 Tablespoons of sugar (or healthier alternatives like coconut sugar).
- Add more texture! Adding chopped nuts, seeds, or dried fruits or oats is a fantastic way to increase the nutrition and flavor in breads. If you're feeling indulgent, you can also add chocolate chips.
- Turn them into dinner rolls - instead of baking this recipe in a loaf pan, divide the dough into 12 pieces, shape them into rolls. You'll have to adjust the baking time (about 15 minutes for the batch).
How to Make this Pumpkin Sandwich Bread Recipe Healthier
- Make this Pumpkin Sandwich Bread even healthier by adding a handful of nuts, seeds and old-fashioned oats to add texture and nutrition. Here are some ideas
- Nuts - chopped walnuts, pecans, cashews
- Seeds - poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds or chiaseeds
- Dried Fruit - chopped apricot, raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, candied ginger, citrus zests, etc.
- Want to add more fiber? Substitute white whole wheat flour for up to half of the bread flour called for in this recipe. You'll need to add a few more tablespoons of water to adjust the hydration since whole wheat flour absorbs more water than white flour.
Note on Substitutions
- Unfortunately, gluten-free flours cannot be substituted for bread flour in this recipe.
- While bread flour is highly recommended, all-purpose flour can be used instead with 1 tsp of vital wheat gluten for every cup of flour.
What are some ways you can eat and serve this Pumpkin Sandwich Bread?
- Plain and warm, right out of the oven
- Toasted the next day, served with jam, marmalade, honey or butter
- Sliced and use for any sandwich.
- And if you do get any leftovers or stale bread left, use it for french toasts or grilled cheese.
How to Store
- You can store this Pumpkin Sandwich Bread loaf, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
- For longer storage, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and freeze up to 3 months, then defrost them at room temperature or microwave before eating.
- Weigh your flour for the best results. 1 cup of bread flour = 120 grams / 4.23 oz. This is recommended since scooping the flour directly from the bag can can pack the flour into the measuring cup, and this means you'll end up with more flour than what's called for in the recipe. If you don't have a kitchen scale, you can measure the flour by spooning pre-sifted flour into the measuring cup, then using the straight end of the spoon to level the flour across the top to sweep off the excess.
- Baking time (as well as serving size) will vary based on the size of your baking pan, the material (silicone vs metal) of the pan. If you're not sure whether the bread is ready, you can insert a quick read thermometer into the bread - a finished loaf will register 190 F (or 88 C).
- To make this recipe in the bread machine: add all the dry ingredients into the machine, stir briefly before adding the wet ingredients. The machine can be set for basic. Check the dough for consistency and adjust by adding additional water (or flour) before the end of the first kneading cycle. If you want to add additional nuts or dried fruits, leave them aside, and only them 3 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle.
More Bread Recipes (HERE)
Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Sandwich Bread
- Mix in the flour and yeast into the the bowl of the stand mixer. Add salt.
- Add the pumpkin puree and maple syrup next
- Start to knead the dough at a low setting (speed 2) for about a minute, until all the ingredients are combined.
- NOTE: If there are still dry ingredients remaining, add water 1 Tbsp at a time* until all the ingredients are just barely combined, with no dry ingredients remaining.
- Add the olive oil and continue to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball.
- Remove the finished dough from the mixer bowl and place in a lightly greased bowl.
- Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes***
- Punch down the dough, then remove from bowl. Place on a generously floured surface and divide into 4 equal sized pieces.
- Use a small rolling pin to flatten each piece into a 6 x 9 inch rectangles, and fold into thirds. Starting from the long side, roll the dough tightly into a tight cylinder (like a sushi roll or cinnamon roll). Pinch the ends to seal. Repeat with the other 3 pieces and place in a well-oiled bread pan.
- Let the dough rise again for 40-60 minutes until puffy. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350F / 180C
- Optional: To add some color and shine to the top of the bread as it bakes, gently brush the tops of the bread with 1 Tbsp of non-dairy milk mixed with 1 Tbsp of maple syrup. (Regular milk or egg wash also works).
- Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then cover / tent the bread with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the interior of the bread reaches 190°F.
- Take the bread out of the oven, turn it out on a rack, and cool it slightly before slicing.
- You can store this bread loaf, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and freeze up to 3 months, then defrost them at room temperature or microwave before eating.