What is Labneh?
You may be thinking, pumpkin YAS. Bread, YAASS. But pumpkin labneh bread? What’s that stuff in the middle? Lah-bun-uh? Huh?? Think of it this way – labneh is the baby of cream cheese and yogurt. It’s a popular addition to Middle Eastern cuisine in fatayer, as a topping on mujadara, or as a dip with olive oil and zaatar. It is made by straining the whey from yogurt. This leaves you with an amazingly creamy and tangy spread. The texture of labneh is closer to thick yogurt, but it has a distinctly cheesy taste, like cream cheese.
Basically, it is the perfect addition to pumpkin bread. The pumpkin bread and spices are warm and sweet. And the labneh filling gives a slightly cheesy and wonderfully creamy balance to it all. You won’t need to add any butter or cream cheese on top of this pumpkin bread, since the spread is already baked inside!
Bonus: If you have a lactose sensitivity, try a little bit of labneh. I can’t drink dairy milk or eat most dairy cheese myself, but I usually do alright with labneh. Because of the way it’s been strained, it is easier on the tummy. 🥰
One Loaf or Two?
This recipe can either make one or two loafs of bread. If you want your pumpkin labneh bread to last a little longer, I’d suggest splitting it between two 8 inch by 4 inch loaf tins. But if you want a towering, thick loaf, go for it and just make one! I would recommend to use a large loaf tin or even a high-sided casserole dish. I made one loaf in a 9 inch by 5 inch pan, and it began overflowing and dropping onto the oven floor while baking! Oh well, you live and you learn, right? 🎃🍞 Enjoy!!
More Quick Breads
Breads that don’t require any rising time like this pumpkin labneh bread fall in the category of “quick breads”. The opposite would be something like sourdough bread, which requires many hours of rising and fermenting before it is ready to be baked. “Quick bread” just means that since you don’t have to let them sit out to rise for a period of time, they are able to be made relatively quickly. In fact, this bread comes together in just an hour and a half, making it a great weekend baking project. You’ll have breakfast, snacks and dessert for the week!
Hungry for more quick bread recipes? Try these:
– Zucchini Banana Bread
– Cheese & Herb Irish Soda Bread (soda bread dough doesn’t need any time to rise before baking it!)
– Vegan Miso Banana Bread
– Savory Gluten Free Breadsticks (these have to rise 20 minutes, but that’s still very quick!)
Pumpkin Labneh Bread
- 16 oz labneh (try looking in your local Middle Eastern store for the best brands)
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup roughly chopped nuts of your choice or chocolate chips (optional)
- To make the labneh filling, blend the labneh and one egg in a medium mixing bowl with an electric hand whisk, until it is smooth. Set aside.
- To make the pumpkin bread, first grease one large (bigger than 9 inch by 5 inch) loaf pan OR two 8 by 4 inch loaf pans. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, two eggs, vegetable oil, milk and vanilla.
- Gently mix together the dry and the wet ingredients, until there is no dry mixture visible. Fold in the nuts or chocolate chips.
- Pour half the batter into the baking pan(s). Spread the labneh filling on top of the batter and smooth out the top. Pour the rest of the batter on top.
- If you're making two smaller loaves, bake for about 40 to 50 minutes. If you're making one large loaf, bake for about 60 to 70 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the bread cool for at least 20 minutes, then slice it up and enjoy!!