Soaked Pumpkin Bread

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Spiced baked goods and warm tea fit the turning weather here in Oregon. Even though two weeks ago we suffered under hundred degree temps, now it is pouring down rain and overcast. I admit it — I like the cozy, sheltered feel of the clouds and enjoying warming dishes again, like this pumpkin bread.

The parent recipe, soaked pumpkin muffins from Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship, also appear in Katie’s fabulous eBook, Healthy Snacks To Go. Katie’s recipe notes (both in the ebook and the blog post) include flexible substitutions for the sweetener, a non-soaking option, and more! Katie uses white wheat flour, and here I am using spelt flour. Yes, my favorite flour, as I have said one too many times probably.

I am trying to account for the additional cup of flour I use, when compared to Katie’s recipe. You’ll always use more spelt flour than wheat in any recipe, and perhaps I like more dense muffins and breads. Or, what if my pumpkin puree is more liquidy? No matter — it shows how very flexible the recipe is.

Why soak? Soaking whole grains is one of the grains preparation methods that yield more nutritious, more digestible and more tender baked goods. We teach about it and other methods in our eCourse in the fundamentals of traditional cooking. Let us help you fit this easy routine into your life, as we transform your kitchen skills one week at a time, one task at a time!

Soaked Pumpkin Bread

  • 2-2/3 cups freshly ground spelt flour (whole wheat pastry flour will yield similar results)
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (or sweet potatoes! be sure to drip out excess water if homemade)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons kefir (or yogurt or other acid such as Kombucha, raw apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup softened butter or coconut oil
  • 3/4 to 1 cup Rapadura
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped crispy nuts (optional; why soak nuts?)

Combine flour, pumpkin, water, and kefir in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for a minimum of 7 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 bread loaf pans. My loaf pans are wide, so my loaves end up wide. If your pans are more narrow, you will end up with taller loaves.

Uncover the mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients (except raisins and nuts), and mix well. Then add the raisins and nuts to incorporate.

Divide the batter between the 2 loaf pans. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out pretty cleanly. It is okay with this bread to have a little goo.

Allow to cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before tipping out of the bread pan. Allow to cool fully before slicing (if you can wait) and the loaves will hold together better. :)

Store in an airtight container (either fridge or room temp), or freeze. Enjoy with a cup of tea!

Thanks, Katie, for a lovely and clearly popular recipe! I’m sharing this post in Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, and Sukkot Real Food Holiday Recipe Carnival.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. Dani says

    mmm… yum! I was just thinking about making zucchini bread with the soaked muffins recipe from the Fundamentals ecourse… Good to see the ratios and all that here! Thanks for “giving permission” to add more flour, LOL!

    I think I’m the only one that didn’t have a bumper zucchini crop this year, but my tomatoes and peppers are definitely making up the difference! (good thing someone left a bunch of extras at the church for the taking on Sunday, no?)


  2. KSLois says

    It is definitely Pumpkin bread time!
    Thanks for the recipe…
    Sometimes we make cookies from our old recipe by adding oatmeal to make a stiffer batter. I’m sure we could add oatmeal in at the soaking time.

  3. Michelle says

    Wardee, I only have the whole wheat white flour, can you send the equivalent amount for using that instead of the spelt? Also, will the soaking time be the same or different?

    My family LOVES pupmkin and I can’t wait to make this for them.

    Thank you!!!

    • says

      Michelle — The original recipe, from Katie, called for 1-2/3 cup of white wheat flour. You might need more too, as I do, if your pumpkin puree is wet. I think I’ve decided that’s why I needed so much more flour compared to her recipe. Enjoy!

  4. Pat in TX says

    Wardee, I admit to being jealous that your seasons are changing. We had 100 degree temps again over the weekend – ugh! We so look forward to pumpkin bread time, as well as all those other cool weather comfort foods.

    KSLois, I find that soaking and dehydrating oatmeal ahead of time rather than soaking it with the flours the night before makes it easier to use as a batter stiffener – if that helps!

  5. says

    So… I made the bread tonight to have ready for breakfast in the morning. We all had a little pre-bedtime snack of it and fell in love with this recipe! Changes: I pureed a butternut squash and used it instead because that’s what I had on hand, and I baked the whole recipe in a 9 x 13 glass pan for 30 minutes. Perfection! Thanks again! We have a new favorite pumpkin bread recipe.

  6. says

    I made this last night for my Mabon feast, with pecans and dried cranberries. I used apple butter (with no added sugar) in place of half the sugar. Oh. My. Gods. This is such amazing bread. Not too sweet, but still a perfect dessert. Tender and moist and not at all heavy like whole grain quick breads can be. I think this might be my new favorite pumpkin bread recipe. Although, I have wide loaf pans like Wardee, and I think I might want to get a new one so I have a taller loaf.

  7. says

    Wardee, I am hoping to make up this bread next week, but I don’t have rapadura on hand. If I were to switch the sweetener to maple syrup, what other adjustments would I need to make?

    • says

      Soli – You would need to use less of the water during the soaking stage. I would probably cut it in half, then add more if necessary. For the amount of maple syrup, I think about the same amount as Rapadura. They’re similar in sweetness, though perhaps the maple syrup is a little more sweet.

      I really think my pumpkin puree is watery. Last time I did this I had to add more flour than I wrote here in this post. During the soaking, you want it to be a pretty thick batter. Right before you cook, you’ll be adding the maple syrup and melted oil — so keep in mind that will wet it down. Let me know how it goes!

  8. Jill says

    If I use wheat that I sprouted and dehydrated, can I skip the soaking stage and still get good results?

    Also, if I have homemade pumpkin that I haven’t drained, can I just use a little more and decrease the water? I am picturing a muffin-like batter consistency that I’m aiming for; is that right?

  9. Pat in TX says

    Wardee, if you ended up with a *wet* pumpkin puree, why could you not drain it in a colander with cheesecloth? In my head I am thinking I have actually done that once upon a time, but I am not sure. Anyway, I was thinking that if you did that you would not have to add so much extra flour; I am trying to preserve the moistness of the bread.

    • says

      Pat, yes you can do exactly that. I do that when I have homemade pumpkin puree, as a rule. It will always be wetter than canned. But when I was making this bread the first time, I started with canned pumpkin, which I wouldn’t think to be wetter. I’m still not sure, but because I have to add so much more flour than the original recipe from Katie, I think my puree might be more wet than hers. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense to me why I add so much more flour.

      In any case, the recipe is so adjustable. And like Jill pointed out, you’re looking for a quick bread/muffin consistency, which we all probably recognize. Have fun with it if you make this. :)

  10. Jennifer Cooper says

    Made this today. Yummy, not too sweet. My loaves were a bit moist in the middle when the toothpick came out clean, so I will add five more minutes to the recipe.

  11. Robin says

    I made this with ww but didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to add the full 2 2/3 cups until after I’d already mixed it. So I added an extra cup of pumpkin (or thereabouts) but didn’t increase anything else. This turned out SO moist and delicious! It was GREAT!! Thanks, Wardee, for this great recipe.

  12. Wendy Edwards says

    This is great! I just tweaked the recipe to make zucchini bread instead, adding a little more water, kefir and zucchini to make enough liquid. Since I changed it up some I was worried it wouldn’t turn out, but it is yummy! Thanks for such a valuable website. :)

  13. says

    I’ve just learned about soaking grains in the last few months and how happy was I to stumble on this recipe over the weekend! Our family loved it so much that I made more to freeze for our school morning breakfasts this week. Thanks!

  14. Sarah max says

    Just made this and it turned out great! I used sprouted spelt flour and had to substitute the sugar for agave syrup. (a 1/4 cup plus a few squeezes) ;). I reduced the oven temp to 325 because of the agave. Have recently been told I may have pre diabetes and was really jonesing for something sweet so this really fit the bill. Thanks!

  15. Sarah Joy says

    this worked so well, didn’t stick to the pan and tasted great. Those three don’t always happen with soaked recipes so thank you very much!

  16. Michele Waters says

    Hi Wardee!
    I have just discovered your blog and have learned so much from you! Thank you!
    My son has many allergies and finding baked good recipes has been such a challenge. He is allergic to dairy, egg, gluten, soy, corn, yeast, tapioca, banana, etc….

    Would there be a way of using a different grain besides wheat or spelt? If so, would I soak the actual flour?
    Do you think I could use an egg replacer such as chia or flax?

    I am sure you get hundreds of emails but I thought I would give a try and see if I could reach you!

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! :)

    • says

      Michele — In recipes such as these, you can usually substitute a gluten-free flour blend and soak as usual. I have not tested this particular recipe but I have done it on my occasions with other quick bread / muffin type recipes. And yes, use an egg replacer like chia or flax. Thanks for your question, and God bless you! :)

  17. Elise says

    When soaking should the water be warm or does it not matter? I’ve seen soaking recipes both with and without “warm” specified and I’ve wondered if the “warm” part is implied, or it should not be warm for some reason. Thanks!

  18. Nancy says

    I’m looking forward to making this recipe as I have extra pumpkin in the ‘frig after the Christmas celebrations. Two questions that I’m sure you have most likely answered in other posts, but I haven’t seen them!
    1. Why do you prefer Rapadura over honey or other natural sweeteners? (You probably have a post on this somewhere, but I couldn’t find it!)
    2. If I were to substitute honey in this recipe, what changes would you make?
    Thanks Wardee for the recipe and your blog:)

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