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Pumpkin Challah, Bread Machine (P, TNT)
Source: "The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook," by Beth Hensperger
Yield: 2 loaves braided

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. walnut or canola oil
4-1/2 cups bleached all purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. wheat gluten
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2-1/2 tsp. yeast

1 egg white, beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for glaze.

Place all ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer's instructions. Program for the Dough cycle; press Start. The dough ball will be firm, pliable, and smooth.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. When the machine beeps at the end of the cycle, press Stop and unplug the machine.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; divide into 6 equal portions. Using your palms, roll each section into a fat cylinder about 12" long and tapered at each end. Be sure the ropers are of equal size and shape. Place 3 of the ropes parallel to each other and braid like you are braiding hair. Transfer the loaf to the baking sheet. Pinch the ends into tapered points and tuck them under. Repeat with remaining portions. Both loaves will fit on the baking sheet crosswise with 4" in between. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is almost doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not let it rise longer or it may collapse in the oven.

Twenty minutes before baking, set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350°F.

Brush the tops of the loaves with the egg glaze. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom with your finger. Let cool on the baking sheet to room temperature before slicing.

Poster's Notes:
This isn't your average challah, but it's delicious and a crowd-pleaser, at least among my circle of crowd...Personally, I make this entirely in the machine. This loaf can be made entirely in a two pound capacity bread machine. Reduce the amount of flour to 4 cups, then watch during the first half hour to determine if more flour, up to 1/2 cup, is needed. Obviously I forego the egg glaze when doing this. But the instructions from the book follow.

Posted by Gypsy/Phyllis Wilson

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A