Lovely, bright color, soft chewy bread with a sugar crust that makes Sweet Pumpkin Bread perfect with the morning coffee or tea.
Pumpkin Sweet Bread? Why, yes, after all, auyama, or West Indian pumpkin, is one of the star ingredients of Dominican cuisine, so it's natural for us to explore new and creative ways to use it.
A bit about auyama
West Indian pumpkin, as its name suggests, is common across the Caribbean region. In neighboring Haiti, Soupe Joumou is a traditional New Year’s Day soup made with pumpkin. In Jamaica pumpkin can be found in curries and pies as well as in soups. Puerto Rico has pumpkin fritters with the curious name of barriguitas de vieja. In the United States, of course, pumpkins are associated with autumn and are central features of Halloween celebrations in the shape of Jack-o’-Lanterns, and the Thanksgiving dinner favorite, pumpkin pie.
Auyama is also used as the name for several varieties of pumpkins and squashes like Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita moschata, and Cucurbita maxima (kabocha squash).
Auyama appears in many our dishes. At the same time, mashed auyama is an excellent baby and toddler food thanks to its gentle flavor, rich nutrients and soft texture.
See all our auyama recipes.
Also known as ayote and calabaza squash, auyama is the name by which it is known in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Colombia. Some also spell it ahuyama, but auyama seems to be the most commonly accepted spelling. In Cuba and Puerto Rico it is called calabaza, the standard Spanish name for pumpkin. In Panama and much of South America it is zapallo. Ayote is a Nahuatl word, while auyama is probably of Taino origin.
Like their counterparts in many other parts of the Americas, the pre-Columbian inhabitants of Hispaniola are known to have cultivated and eaten auyama, which was unknown in the Old World before 1492. The earliest indications of the pumpkin’s arrival in Europe appear in early 16th century paintings and literature.
Hard to find another ingredient that ticks all these boxes!
About this recipe
As bread-making goes, this is a beginner recipe. There are two important things to keep in mind. First, your yeast has to be fresh, and just because you just bought it from the supermarket doesn't necessarily mean that it is fresh, in my experience. You can read how to check if the yeast is fresh, and test it beforehand. Another thing to remember is that temperatures are important, including the temperature of the water you add to the bread, please check the recipe notes.
Sweet Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- ⅓ cup of water, , warm to the touch (see notes)
- ½ cup of coarse brown sugar, , divided
- 4 tablespoons of butter at room temperature, , plus more to grease pan
- 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cup of all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of mashed boiled auyama, (or kabocha squash)
- ¼ cup of raisins
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
- Combine warm water (finger temperature), half the sugar and 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until foamy (see notes).
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Mix in the the yeast mixture and mashed auyama. Mix in the mixer using the hook at medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer and cover the bowl with a clean tea towel. Let it rest for an hour, or until the dough doubles in volume.
- Start the mixer again over low speed, stir in raisins until it's well mixed, but be careful not to overwork the dough.
- Grease a 6-cup non-stick bundt mold with the remaining butter. Sprinkle the bottom with the sugar, followed by the cinnamon powder. Pour the dough into the bowl. Cover and let it rest in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 ºF [190 ºC].
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until you poke with a skewer and it comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the mold.