Baby master recipe pumpkin loaves…

Have you tried making a pumpkin shaped loaf? It’s good fun!

You can make them with plain doughs or flavoured doughs, or with mixed flours, using my baby master recipe quantities, banneton size and baking times, or using a full size dough.

For this loaf I used my baby master recipe sized dough.

I’ve added step by step photos below of how to create the shape.


You will need butchers twine string, and a cinnamon stick, or a stalk from a pepper/capsicum/squash/pumpkin.


To make this baby size dough:

30g starter

210g water

300g flour

Salt to taste

Or use my standard master recipe dough.

Whichever size dough you make, follow my master recipe process up to step 6.

By this step your dough should be in your banneton and have had several hours in the fridge to prove and firm up. When you are ready to bake, cut 4 strings long enough to tie across the dough.

Place the 4 strings evenly across the dough and banneton

Remove the cover from your banneton. Lay the strings evenly over the top of the banneton as above.

Place your parchment paper or pan liner over the top of the banneton and strings, and your pan over the top of both. Use both hands to turn it all over, keeping the strings in place.

Turn it all out into your lined pan

Remove the banneton and prepared to tie the strings.

Remove the banneton and tie the strings across the top

Making sure you are using corresponding ends of the strings, tie each one across the dough and tie firmly on the top.

Don’t pull the strings tightly across the dough, it will grow as it bakes to form the shape.

All tied up

Tie in bows that you will be able to undo later.

You can now score or not, totally up to you, then put the lid on your pan and bake as usual.

If you are making my baby version, bake at 220C fan 40-45 mins from cold, with the strings in place and the lid on.

Ready to bake
Fresh from the oven

Once baked, remove the loaf carefully from the pan, place on a rack and undo the strings. Place the loaf back into your pan and bake, covered or uncovered, for a further 5-10 minutes to ensure it is baked through.

On a rack to remove the strings

*from being compressed I have found that the loaves can be slightly undercooked if baked for the standard amount of time only, the extra time minus the strings ensures it’s not damp inside the “˜wedges”.

Strings removed

Add a “talk” for a fun presentation.

Stalk applied!

And there it is! You can use more strings, or less, you can do intricate scoring, you can use a plain dough made with any flour, or a flavoured dough. The possibilities are endless!

The basic recipe can be enhanced with added ingredients of your choice, dried fruits, seeds, chopped nuts, spices, alternative liquids. You can create whatever dough you like, then use the steps above to create the pumpkin shape.

So, have you made a pumpkin loaf yet?

To make the loaf that I’ve featured here, you can find the details of my ‘Pumpkin Spiced and Shaped Loaf” recipe on page 99 in my current book, “Easy Everyday Sourdough Bread Baking“.

For your perfect flour options, visit Matthews Cotswold Flour and discover the flours that I use.