Fortunately, this recipe is something that can be enjoyed all winter long. Chili is one of my favourite things to make in the winter because it's easy, it's healthy and filling, it makes a ton, and it packs well for lunches. Ever since I saw a recipe for a pumpkin bread bowl on Breadworld I'd been dreaming about how good a pumpkin chili would taste inside a pumpkin bread bowl. The answer? Amazing!
The bread bowl has a subtle pumpkin flavour and is soft but sturdy enough to hold up to the chili. The dough was easy to make and form into buns, which you then tear out the center of to fill with the chili. You could probably save the inside of the buns for breadcrumbs or another purpose, but I couldn't stop myself from eating all the dough as I tore it out because I have no self control when it comes to fresh bread. I think if you have kids they would have a lot of fun preparing their chili bowls themselves, and getting to eat them after they finish their chili. Of course, there's nothing wrong with adults enjoying this just as much!
The chili I made had a very subtle pumpkin flavour, and not a lot of add-ins because I went grocery shopping for it very early in the morning when my brain wasn't fully turned on yet, so all I could think to buy was kidney beans. But feel free to add in whatever you like (as I've suggested in the recipe below), the recipe is really a base that you can customize to your own liking.
While the meal is a bit time consuming to make overall, there isn't a lot of hands on cooking time involved. Make it on a Sunday and have the leftovers for lunch the rest of the week - a bowl of this chili fills me up for the rest of the afternoon.
What about you guys, are you ready for the holiday recipes already or still hanging on to Fall a little while longer?
Pumpkin Bread Bowls
Adapted from Breadworld
Makes 6 bread bowls
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2-1/2 cups bread flour
2 to 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
Heat milk, 1/2 cup water, butter, sugar and salt in a small saucepan just until butter is melted. Cool to between 100° to 110°F.
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl or bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the milk mixture, pumpkin and 1 cup of each flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in remaining bread flour and enough whole wheat flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. If using an electric mixer, just leave the dough in the bowl and use the dough hook to knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with heavy tea towels and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-1/2 hours.
Punch down dough. Divide into six portions and form each into a flattened ball. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes.
To serve: Cut off the top of each bowl and hollow out the center. Fill with your favourite soup or chili recipe, such as the pumpkin chili recipe below.
Serves 6 with bread bowls
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14-oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (24-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: add in black beans, extra kidney beans, or ground turkey/beef for more protein; corn or red peppers for extra vegetables; chicken, veggie, or beef broth for more liquid; or any other desired add-ins.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and pumpkin puree and stir. Add all spices and stir to mix. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 1 hour. Serve warm, spooned into pumpkin bread bowls. Top with shredded cheese if desired.