About this recipe:This pumpkin bread is a little different than the average pumpkin bread. It's leavened with yeast and not baking powder or bicarbonate of soda. The loaf is similar to a brioche - it's enriched with butter and eggs. It's rich, lightly spiced, tender and packed full of flavour. Enjoy for breakfast, brunch or general snacking.
Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over 3 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 40 degrees C. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. Combine the pumpkin, 125g of the flour, light brown soft sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a large bowl.
Mix yeast mixture into the pumpkin mixture; stir until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in 250g of the flour, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the butter a few pieces at a time, beating until incorporated. Stir in the remaining flour, mixing until creamy. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (27 to 35 degrees C)) until doubled in volume, about 3 hours. Gently deflate the dough, then cover tightly with cling film. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat an oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Lightly grease a 8x18cm or similar sized loaf tin.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a knife to divide the dough into eight equal pieces-don't tear it. Shape into dough rounds and let rest for 10 minutes. Form the dough into balls and place each ball into the prepared tin, making two rows of four balls. Whisk the egg yolk and milk together in a small bowl. Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash, then cover the loaf with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 180 C / Gas 4 and continue baking until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.