Festive Pumpkin-Shaped Cheesy Bread

Last night was pumpkin carving. We brought along a pumpkin-shaped cheesy bread:

It’s almost as large as a sheet tray and easy to make. The recipe is basically just two generic pizza doughs: 700g bread (or AP) flour, 440g water (63% hyrdration), 14g kosher salt, 2 tsp instant yeast.

After a bulk rise of one hour transfer the dough to a Silpat or parchment-lined sheet tray. Spread the dough out into a large circle, leaving a little space between the dough and the edges of the sheet tray. Cover and let rise another 45 minutes, then cut the shapes out for the eyes and mouth. I used a small fairly rigid spatula for the cutting. Transfer the scraps to a 2nd sheet tray and cover those too. Let rise another 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425F and grate about 3 cups cheddar cheese.

The “stem” of the pumpkin is coated with za’atar mixed with olive oil, though almost anything “green” would work. We coated the scraps with za’atar as well, which made a nice change of pace from the cheddar cheese.

Bake for 17 minutes, then remove from the oven and top the pumpkin and scraps with the cheese and herbs. Bake for another 5-7 minutes until melted to your liking.

The recipe was originally inspired by a Fougasse (leaf) shape, I thought for pumpkin carving it might be good to have a little fun with it. The only real “trick” is to make sure to cut the holes for the eyes and mouth generously large, since the dough will expand when baked and fill in the gaps.

Our scary line-up. With four adults and a kid contributing (helping emptying pumpkin guts, which she thought was awesome) it went pretty quick:

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