Chef John's Pumpkin Bread
In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of warm water, yeast, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix in flour with a spatula until the dough is fully mixed and all the flour is moistened. Cover bowl with a damp towel, and allow dough to rise for 12-16 hours.
Scrape dough onto floured surface with floured spatula; sprinkle dough with more flour. With your fingers, press dough out into a rough square about 1 inch thick. Fold all four sides of dough in towards center, then turn folded dough over and form into a round loaf.
Generously cover a sheet pan with cornmeal.
Place loaf on prepared sheet pan with seam sides down, dusting top and sides with flour, then place a floured towel over dough. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and place a pan with 2 inches of water on the bottom rack. Just before baking, make a shallow slice (1/2 inch) across top of dough with a sharp knife.
Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven. Turn pan around and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
For plain bread, substitute more water for the pumpkin puree.
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