Pumpkin Challah

The following post contains sponsored content. 

One of the big parts of my job as a mother it to make sure my family is well fed. The idea of them going to bed hungry makes my heart hurt. We are so fortunate that we don't have to worry about a vital necessity such as food. 
Though that is not the case for many families across the globe. One in every eight people on earth goes to bed hungry each night. Seriously, read that statistic again. One in eight people goes to sleep at night with no food in their belly. That's a staggering number. Some even scarier numbers, is that  each day more than 25,000 people die abroad of hunger and hunger-related causes.   Every 10 seconds a child dies because they are severely underweight or lack essential nutrients, and about  842 million people in the world do not have enough to eat.  You guys, this is 2014, why are so many people still without food? 

Food is something most of us take for granted. We eat it because we enjoy it, it's fun, it tastes great. While we do so, there is a child (or adult) somewhere in this country starving to death. I find that unacceptable. 

This month Red Star Yeast has teamed up with Stop Hunger Now. In 2013, Stop Hunger Now sent more than $9 million worth of donated goods to people in need world wide. More than 125,000 volunteers worldwide packaged more than 42 million meals for recipients in 30 countries.  Each of those meals contained 23 essential vitamins and minerals, feeding 6 people. 

So when Red Star Yeast asked me to develop a bread recipe as part of their“ Bake the World a Better Place” campaign, how could I say no? 

The idea was to develop a recipe that is large enough to feed you and your family, and share with friends, family or perhaps someone in need. 

This Pumpkin Challah is the perfect seasonal yeast bread, great for breakfast, to serve with dinner and to use the leftovers in French Toast or Bread Pudding. It is sweet, filled with pumpkin, maple syrup and lots of spice.  Not only does the recipe make a large batch (4 loaves), it is delicious and looks gorgeous too. 
I was a little intimidated on the idea of braiding my own challah. So I set myself in front of YouTube and started watching tutorials and practiced braiding on several batches of dough. It's quite easy to braid actually, and so worth the extra steps because it creates a loaf that will wow people. Though it is completely optional. This bread could be baked as rolls or in loaf form as well. 

I highly encourage you to test this recipe out and to give the round 6 braid a try! 
Pumpkin Challah

2 packages of Red Star Platinum Yeast (4 1/2 tsp yeast) 
2/3 cup warm water
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree 
12 large egg yolks
1 tbs salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tbs pumpkin pie spice 
8-10 cups bread flour (or all purpose) 
Additional 4 egg yolks to brush finished loaves with
Sesame seeds for topping  (optional) 

  1. In a small mixing bowl combine yeast, water and granulated sugar. Give a quick stir, and allow to sit for about 5 minutes or until the yeast becomes nice and foamy. 
  2. Mix yeast mixture together with pumpkin, egg yolks, salt, maple syrup, olive oil, pumpkin pie spice and 7 cups of bread flour. 
  3. Add in additional flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. 
  4. Pour dough out onto a floured surface, and start to knead the dough, adding more flour as needed until the dough is nice and elastic. About 6-8 minutes. 
  5. Place dough into a greased mixing bowl and allow to rise until it has doubled in size. About 15-30 minutes if using Red Star's Platinum Yeast or 90 minutes if using regular active dry yeast. 
  6. Once dough has doubled. Pour out onto a floured surface again. 
  7. Cut the dough in to 4 pieces.  
  8. Pick one piece to start working with, and then cut that  into 6 equal pieces. 
  9. Roll each of the 6 pieces into a "snake" as my kids call them, they should be about 1/2-1 inch thick.
  10. Weave the pieces together, and then braid the four corners, tucking the ends in creating a round braided loaf. (As pictured above)
  11. Repeat the braiding process with the remaining 3 loaves. 
  12. Place each loaf in a greased baking dish ( I like to use class pie plates). 
  13. Heat oven to 350 while you set the braided loaves aside to rise until they double in size. 
  14. Once the bread has finished rising, brush each one with one egg yolk and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
  15. Bake for about 40 minutes or until they are golden brown. 
  16. Enjoy warm, and share the baked goodness with someone you love or someone in need!
Also, you can help me win a pair of airline tickets in this  Pinterest contest by pinning THIS pin here!  You can pin daily! Also be sure to vote for any of your other favorite blogger pins! 

Check out some of the other great recipes created for Red Star Yeast's “ Bake the World a Better Place” campaign

(Disclaimer: I received monetary compensation from Red Star Yeast to develop this recipe. However, as always all opinions are 100% my own.) 


  1. That is amazing, what Red Star Yeast is doing is truly a blessing! I think you picked a wonderful recipe to help share the news!

  2. I am crushing on this braided bread SO HARD! Absolutely gorgeous Carrie! I'm such a Challah sucker, and the pumpkin just makes this sound even better!

    1. Thanks Katrina! I think I'm going to braid everything now that I know how haha.

  3. Gorgeous challah! Your round braiding is MUCH better than mine..haha

  4. This is simply beautiful! I LOVE all of the pictures, and what Red Star is doing.

  5. Such gorgeous bread... and a fantastic cause. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This bread looks gorgeous! Love that it's pumpkin too!

  7. What a beautiful bride Carrie! It looks quite labor-intensive but I'm sure your lovely family enjoyed it quite a bit!

  8. I have been on a carb binge lately....and this is just adding to my addiction! ha! This challah is absolutely gorgeous!

  9. Challah is my favorite bread ever, your pumpkin challah looks delicious! Nettie

  10. This bread is beautiful! Love all those perfect looking braids. I really need to start baking with yeast more!

  11. I'm used to the simple loaf styled challah...though I've never braided it myself (just watched my mom plenty of times). I like the round braiding and my have to give it a try finally. I love what Red Yeast is doing and am happy that you've partnered with them.

  12. Your loaf looks gorgeous! I'd like to have a go at it but would like to know of the recipe would work well with a stand mixer (I don't have red star platinum so in plan on using SAF instant).

    1. Yes you can use a mixer to knead the dough for you! Your yeast sub will be fine too!

  13. That is amazing, I will definitely follow your recipe.

  14. Thank you for sharing!I will try to follow your recipe

  15. This bread is great! Love those perfect looking braids. this is very gorgeous!

  16. very niche, thanks for sharing

  17. I like to eat bread, thanks very much

  18. This bread is great. My sister likes to make bread at home. I'll send her this link. Thanks

  19. The bread looks so tasty. I like bread and I'm going to try this recipe for my family.

  20. Making me hungry reading this...All looks soooooooo nice