An easy sourdough pumpkin bread recipe made with your sourdough discard is perfect quick bread for Fall. And the bread is easily made without a mixer too!
Yay! It’s official. Pumpkin season is here friend. Bring on all the pumpkin please. Now, I don’t know about you but I could have a pumpkin spice latte in May. No lie. But maybe it is because there is a “pumpkin” season that makes it all the more special?
Maybe it’s just the aromas when you are baking up something pumpkin. The cinnamon. The nutmeg. Your kitchen just smells better when there is something pumpkin-y in the oven, don’t you think?
Anyways, back to this bread. This sourdough pumpkin bread is moist (sorry, guys if you hate this word), tender, and super quick to whip up. I used my Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Bread as the base for this bread. It lots of brown sugar, homemade pumpkin pie spice, and a good dash of vanilla extract, and of course pumpkin!
I replaced some of the milk and flour in the recipe to add in some sourdough discard. Make sure you are using unfed sourdough discard that is 100% hydration in this bread recipe for the perfect texture.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Ready To Be Baked In Minutes – I love quick breads because they take minutes to whip up and throw in the oven.
- Use Sourdough Discard – It’s a perfect way to use up your sourdough discard that’s sitting in your fridge.
- Gets Better The Next Day – I prefer to wrap up my pumpkin bread and let it sit overnight to let the bread soften and get even more moist! So it makes a great make ahead bread.
Use Sourdough Discard
We are using our discard from when we feed our starter to make this banana bread recipe. When I feed my starter fresh flour and water I remove half of the original starter and move it to a second jar. That jar is my “discard” and I keep this in my fridge for about a month.
I keep a jar of discard in the fridge and when I have enough built up I love throwing it into so many great recipes. So this means it’s not “active” and isn’t what is responsible for making our banana bread rise, but replacing some of the flour and liquids called for in the recipe.
We will use baking powder to help the bread rise instead. The sourdough discard can give the bread a hint of sourdough flavor. The amount of “sourdough” taste will depend on how sour your discard is to begin with. I, personally, don’t detect it.
If you’re new to using your sourdough discard, check out my Ultimate Guide On Sourdough Discard!
HEATHER’S BAKING TIP: If you find your discard has some gray liquid on top, called hooch, just simply pour it off. It’s harmless and won’t affect your discard.
If you haven’t gotten around yet to making your sourdough starter, and have no discard then let’s get going! What are you waiting for? It will take about 5 days to make your starter and have a discard worth using. But it will be worth it. Here is the full guide on How To Make Sourdough Starter From Scratch.
Once you have your starter raring to go then you will need to feed and mantain your starter.
Want to jump in to sourdough but don’t want to make your own starter? Totally fine! Just buy a sourdough starter and it will be ready to use faster.
- Dry Ingredients: Flour, Baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg
- Wet Ingredients: Sourdough discard, pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, vanilla, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and milk.
- Sourdough Discard – These are of course sourdough so we are using our discard from when we feed our starter. I keep a jar of discard in the fridge and when I have enough built up I use it in my muffins. So this means it’s not “active” and isn’t what is responsible for making our breads rise, but replacing some of the flour and liquids called for in our sourdough pumpkin bread recipe.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – You can also make your own pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have any, or replace with the spices (will be listed in the recipe for you if you don’t have any).
- Pumpkin Puree – Make sure you are using 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix. That has added ingredients that will affect how the bread turns out.
How To Make Sourdough Pumpkin Bread
1. Combine Your Dry Ingredients
You want to start by whisking together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and nutmeg.
HEATHER’S BAKING TIP: It’s important that you measure your flour correctly. Over-measuring flour is one of the biggest mistakes bakers make. I always recommend using a digital scale and weighing your ingredients. It’s faster, and much more accurate! But if you do measure using measuring cups (aka by volume) then be sure to do it correctly. Spoon the flour into your cup and then level off. Do not pack it down in the cup. You can read How To Measure Flour.
2. Combine The Wet Ingredients
In a second mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk and discard. Just simply whisk it together.
3. Combine The Wet And Dry Ingredients
Next you want to combine the wet and dry ingredients. I like to create a well first by pushing the dry ingredients aside and then pouring the wet ingredients into the hole. And then just stir together using a spatula.
If you wanted to add anything else to your batter, now is the time! Toasted pecans, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries would all be a delicious addition!
HEATHER’S BAKING TIP: Be careful to NOT overmix. Overmixing will create a tough bread. Stop mixing once the last of the flour has been incorporated.
4. Scoop The Batter
Go ahead and spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake the bread for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean
Heather’s Best Baking Tips
- Prepare your pan first. You want to make sure to get your loaf pan ready before you start measuring. I like to use grease with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper, and then give it one more spray.
- Do not overmix. Once you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, you want to make sure to mix just until the flour is mixed in. If you keep mixing, then you activate the gluten protein in the flour which can make your banana bread tough and chewy.
- Test for doneness. It can be tough to tell if your sourdough pumpkin bread is done. I like to use a toothpick inserted into the middle of the tin and look for moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick. If you see batter still then pop them into the oven for a few minutes.
- Whole Wheat: Replace half of the flour with whole wheat flour. I love white whole wheat flour for it’s softer texture.
- Vegan: Replace the milk with a non-dairy milk such as almond or soy. And you can replace the eggs with your favorite vegan egg replacer.
- Gluten Free: Because this uses sourdough starter, you would need to make sure to use a gluten free sourdough starter, and then replace the flour with a gluten free flour. You could also try using a naturally gluten free ancient grain flour, such as millet or buckwheat (but this will change the texture significantly.)
Add In Ideas
Mix and match up to 1 cup of any off the following:
- chocolate chips (semi-sweet, white or dark)
- toasted nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
- shredded coconut
- dried cranberries (or raisins)
- cinnamon sugar: Top the bread with a little sprinkle before it bakes!
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds): Top the bread with a few seeds before it bakes!
I find it’s great wrapped up for a week at room temperature as long as they are well covered.
Yes! Allow the bread to cool completely and place them in a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, I just let mine thaw at room temperature and enjoy.
This probably means you did not bake it long enough. Make sure to test with a toothpick, and touch the top. It should spring back when touched. Also, different ovens can run at different temperatures. So it’s best to use an oven thermometer!
More Recipes To Try
Sourdough Pumpkin Bread
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
- 2/3 cups (134 g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cups (142 g) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (227 g) pumpkin puree
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 120 g (generous 1/2 cup) unfed sourdough discard 100% hydration
- Prep pan and oven. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan. I like to line mine with parchment paper as well and grease lightly again.
- Combine Dry Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Combine wet ingredients. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, milk and sourdough discard.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients. With a spatula, stir to combine until the last of the flour has been mixed in. Stop mixing at this point to avoid overmixing.
- Bake the bread. Spoon the batter into the pan. Bake the bread for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. You should see moist crumbs, not raw batter. Mine was perfect at 60 minutes, so begin checking your bread at 60 minutes, but every oven is different so you may need additional time.
- Cool the bread. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and continue to cool. When it's completely cool, wrap it well in plastic wrap, and store it overnight before serving for best texture.
- Storage: You can keep this bread, wrapped, and stored at room temperature for up to one week.
- Freezing: Let the bread thaw completely then I wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap, and then either a final layer of tin-foil or place in a sealable plastic bag. Freeze for 3 months. When ready to enjoy, I unwrap the bread and let it thaw at room temperature before slicing and serving.
- Mix-ins. You can stir in chocolate chips, raisins, currants, or dried cranberries to the batter if you want. Add 1/2 (up to 2/3 cup) of your choice mix-ins.