INGREDIENTS
Bread
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 Cup milk
2-1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
3/4 Cup pumpkin puree
1/4 Cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2-1/2 Cups bread flour
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly-Ground Nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softtened at room temperature

Buttered Rum Glaze
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 Cup brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp milk
3/4 Cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp Rum Extract

STEPS
Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and brown 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter, allowing butter to bubble and brown, but not burn. Removed the pan from the stove and whisk in the milk, returning pan to stove and heating mixture over low heat.

When the milk mixture is heated to about 100 – 110°F (warm bath water-ish temp), pour the milk-butter mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer (equipped with a dough hook). Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of the warm milk, and gently stir in 1/4 cup of sugar. Allow to “proof” for ten minutes (surface will look foamy, liquid will appear cloudy).

With the mixer on its lowest speed, add the the pumpkin puree, salt, and 1 cup of the flour, mixing until ingredients are combined. Add the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and continue kneading for 6 minutes, until the dough is satiny, smooth and elastic, while also still a little sticky. Adjust the ingredients: if the dough is too sticky, add a spoonful of flour; if it is too dry, add a spoonful of room-temperature water.

Flour your hands and knead the dough into a ball, before transferring dough to a clean, lightly-oiled bowl. Roll dough ball around to coat with the oil, and cover bowl with a clean towel.

Put the dough bowl in a warm, draft-free spot, and allow to rise or 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.

While dough is rising, brown another 2 Tbsp of butter in a small saucepan or skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the browned butter, and mix until there are no clumps in the sugar-spice-butter mixture.  Set aside.

Prepare the baking pan by oiling a 9 x 5 loaf pan, and dusting the inside surfaces with a little flour.  Prepare a work surface for the bread by dusting with a little flour to keep the dough from sticking.

When the rising dough has doubled, use your clean hands to punch it down and transfer it to the floured work surface. Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough into a big (20×12 inch) rectangle.  Spread or sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the rolled-out dough, and use your fingers to press the spices into the surface.  Cut the doughy rectangle into 6 long strips. Stack the strips on top of one other and cut each strip into 6 similarly-sized squares. Now stack the strips vertically in the greased loaf pan. Cover the pan with a clean tea towel and allow to rise again for 30-45 minutes.

While the dough rises in the pan, preheat an oven to 350°F. Once the dough has risen in the pan, bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until top of bread has turned golden brown. Remove baked bread from oven and allow to cool, in the pan, on a wire rack. When bread has mostly cooled, transfer from baking pan to a plate or platter.

Prepare the glaze by heating the rest of the butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar in the liquid and butter. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately remove the pan from the heat to stir in the rum extract and powdered sugar. Continue to stir until confectioners’ sugar is completely incorporated. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to drizzle glaze over the top and sides of the bread.

Serve immediately.
Adapted from Willow Bird Baking

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