Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread recipe is a delicious and easy way to use up sourdough starter in subtly sweet and spicy pumpkin bread. Topped with sweet and salty pepitas, this just may be the most perfect fall bread idea!
Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe has all of the season’s warm spices and is just perfect for the cooler days of fall. This slightly tangy and spicy quick bread is perfect for this time of year where it’s all about pumpkin!
Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe
If you’re a sourdough-bread baker, you know it could make you shed a tear if you have to toss a whole cup of that lovely starter whenever it’s time to replenish your starter.
Since it pains me to toss out the sourdough discard, I’ve been hunting for new recipes to use it up every week! If you have ripe bananas to use up, try our sourdough banana bread. Another great pumpkin idea is this sourdough pumpkin coffee cake! AND if you are looking for a super easy sourdough starter recipe, try this one out! I was inspired to make my sourdough pumpkin quick bread after I saw King Arthur's Flour's recipe.
Why this sourdough discard pumpkin bread works
- Sourdough Starter: The unfed sourdough starter not only utilizes leftovers from your sourdough baking but also lends a unique, tangy flavor to the bread that balances the sweetness.
- Spices: The pumpkin spice adds warmth and depth to the flavor profile, making it a perfect fall bread.
- Coconut Oil: The use of coconut oil provides a healthier fat alternative and imparts moisture to the bread.
- Pure Pumpkin Puree: By using pure pumpkin puree, you get the authentic flavor of pumpkin that's not compromised by additional sweeteners or spices.
- Candied Pepitas: The candied pepitas provide a delightful crunch contrasting the soft bread, and their sweet and salty flavor adds an extra layer of taste to the bread.
- Baking Method: The slow baking process at 350°F ensures the bread is cooked evenly without getting too brown, resulting in a moist and fluffy texture.
- Versatility: This bread can be stored at room temperature for several days or frozen.
Ingredients for this sourdough discard bread
- All Purpose Flour (1 2/3 cups): Serves as the base of the bread, providing structure and texture.
- Baking Soda (1 teaspoon): Acts as a leavening agent, helping the bread rise and become fluffy.
- Baking Powder (¾ teaspoon): Works in conjunction with baking soda to ensure adequate rise.
- Salt (1/4 teaspoon): Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Pumpkin Spice (3 teaspoons): Adds the classic, warm fall flavors to the bread.
- Large Eggs (3): Provide structure and stability to the batter, as well as moisture.
- Coconut Oil (2/3 cup): Adds moistness and a subtle hint of flavor.
- Sugar (1 cup): Sweetens the bread.
- Unfed Sourdough Starter (1 cup): Utilizes leftovers from your sourdough baking and lends a unique, tangy flavor to the bread.
- Vanilla Extract (1 teaspoon): Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Canned Pumpkin Puree (1 cup): Provides the primary flavor and moistness to the bread.
- Pepitas Pumpkin Seeds (1/3 cup): Add a crunchy texture when candied and sprinkled on top.
- Honey (1 teaspoon): Used in candying the pumpkin seeds, providing a sweet flavor.
- Coconut Oil (1/2 teaspoon): Used in making the candied seeds, helps to bind the honey and seeds.
- Preparation: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, then spray it with baking spray. Alternatively, you could butter and flour the pan.
- Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice. Whisk the ingredients together until they are well incorporated. Set this bowl aside.
- Wet Ingredients: In a separate large bowl, crack in the three large eggs. Whisk them well. To the same bowl, add the coconut oil, sugar, unfed sourdough starter, and vanilla extract. Stir the ingredients together until they are well combined.
- Combine: Add the canned pumpkin puree to the wet ingredients. Mix until the puree is fully incorporated. Make sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are combined.
- Candied Pepitas: Next, prepare the candied pepitas. You can do this in one of two ways. Either heat the pepitas, honey, and coconut oil in a small skillet until well combined, or use a microwave to melt the honey and combine the ingredients easier. If using a microwave, heat the ingredients for 10 seconds.
- Batter: Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top of the batter using the back of a spoon or a spatula. Sprinkle the candied pepitas over the top of the batter.
- Bake: Place the loaf pan in the preheated oven. Bake it for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. If the top of the loaf starts to brown too quickly, cover it lightly with foil after about 45 minutes of baking. For smaller pans, the baking time should be reduced to about 25-30 minutes.
- Cool: Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. After this time, remove the loaf from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Ensure the loaf is completely cool before slicing.
- Storage: Store the cooled loaf at room temperature for several days. Wrap it tightly in plastic to keep it fresh. If you wish to store the loaf for a longer period, you can freeze it.
- Use Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh baking powder and baking soda. If they have been sitting in your pantry for a long time, they may not work as effectively.
- Don't Overmix: Avoid overmixing the batter. Doing so can result in a denser bread.
- Check for Doneness: Ovens can vary, so start checking for doneness around the 50-minute mark to avoid overbaking.
- Cover if Browning too Quickly: If the bread is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil for the last 15-20 minutes of baking.
- Cool Completely Before Cutting: Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing to get clean cuts.
- We used a 9x5 loaf pan, but you could use 4 mini loaf pans. They make super gifts during the holidays!
- This recipe calls for pumpkin pie spice which is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice . You could use any combo of these spices if you don't have pumpkin spice mix and make it your own.
- Be sure to use pumpkin puree in this recipe and not pumpkin pie filling. I have sometimes grabbed the filling instead of puree by mistake, so check the label! If you by mistake use the filling, it will be too sweet as the filling has sugar and spices already in it! Pumpkin puree is just the cooked and pureed pumpkin (just what you need for this recipe!).
- Storing: Store the bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
- Freezing: To freeze the bread, cool it completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. To defrost, let it sit at room temperature.
How to use discarded sourdough starter to make a quick bread?
A sourdough baking question often asked is, “How can I use that “discarded” starter instead of throwing it away?"
A great way to use up sourdough starter is in a quick bread!
A very short baking reminder: a quick bread is made with baking powder and/or baking soda instead of yeast. Since you aren't using yeast and waiting for it to proof, it is quick!
For this particular recipe, we are using baking soda (and powder) that helps to raise the batter while baking in the oven. The sourdough discard helps to give it a little extra lift and also a lovely mild sourdough tang.
PIN for later!
This easy quick bread recipe takes less than 15 minutes to put together. In no time, your whole house will be transformed to a relaxing dream with the scent of this gorgeous bread. I have another one baking in the oven right now while I write this post and it smells delightful! And it all starts with this fantastic sourdough starter recipe.
The answer is yes! You could use plain unsweetened yogurt containing active cultures in place of the sourdough starter to get a little tang and moisture. So don't fret if you aren't a sourdough baker: simply replace the starter discard with unsweetened yogurt (with active cultures).
Yes! You could easily make this recipe into muffins! Simply prep your muffin pan with baking spray (or butter)and fill each tin 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, or your tester comes out clean. Kids love them and they also freeze really well!
Yes, you can replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free baking flour mix.
Yes, but the moisture content in fresh pumpkin can vary, which might affect the results.
This sourdough pumpkin quick bread was just what I needed to get me into fall feelings (even though it’s still feeling like summer in my part of the world!). The sourdough gives it a slightly tangy flavor and it has the most incredible crumb. Moist and bursting with fall spice. Excuse me while I enjoy slice with my coffee and a good book…just paradise!
Looking for an amazing vegan pumpkin bread? This is the one!
If you’ve tried this Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe or any other recipe on Savoring Italy, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. It makes my day hearing from my readers and I do respond to every comment!
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- Blueberry Pie with Sourdough Crust
- Pumpkin Spice Donuts
Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- PUMPKIN BREAD
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2/3 cup coconut oil (or your favorite mild flavored oil)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup unfed sourdough starter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- CANDIED PEPITA TOPPING
- 1/3 cup pepitas pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or any mild flavored oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray (or butter and flour the pan).
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to combine the ingredients and set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs and whisk well. Add the oil, sugar, starter and vanilla. Stir until it is all combined. Add the pumpkin and mix until incorporated. Use a spatula to get all the ingredients from the side of the bowl and combine them.
- As soon as you prep batter, prep the candied pepitas (pumpkin seeds). There are two ways to make it: you could heat up the pumpkin seeds with the honey and oil in a small skillet until it is combined, OR if you have a microwave, microwave it for 10 seconds to melt the honey and help it combine easier.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth the top and sprinkle the candied pepitas (pumpkin seeds) over the top (INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO CANDY THEM IS ABOVE).
- Bake for 55-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (every oven is different. We baked ours for about 65 minutes). If getting too brown, cover lightly with foil after 45 minutes. For the smaller pans bake for about 25-30 minutes.
- Cool for 20 minutes, then slide out of pan and transfer to a cool rack. Cool completely before slicing.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
Use only pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. I find canned pumpkin more consistent for baking and personally don't use fresh pumpkin. Fresh pumpkin could be too wet for the bread and you won't get the same results. All images and text ©Savoring Italy. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If using my posts in collections and features, please link back to this post for the recipe. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
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