Place a 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat and add the pumpkin, poppy and sesame seeds. Cook, shaking skillet occasionally, until the seeds start to pop and turn brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add the yeast to the warm water, stir gently until the yeast dissolves, and set aside.
Place 2 cups of the flour, the cornmeal, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook, and combine with a rubber spatula until well blended. Fold in the toasted seeds with the spatula. Add the prune syrup & white grape syrup and butter, turn the mixer to low speed, and mix until the ingredients reach the crumbly stage. Add the yeast mixture, raise the mixer speed to medium, and mix 5 minutes. Add the remaining ¼ cup flour and mix at medium speed for 10 minutes more.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and separate it into 4 pieces. Knead each piece 6 to 8 times.
Spray 4 loaf pans (5¾ x 3 x 2¼ inches) with vegetable-oil spray. Roll each piece of dough into a cylinder, stretch cylinders to the size of the pans, place in the pans, and lightly spray the tops. Let rise in a warm place (approximately 80°) for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk (see Note).
Preheat the oven to 300°. Bake until done, about 45 minutes, and remove from the pans to cool, preferably on a wire rack, before slicing.
Note: A gas oven with a pilot light makes an ideal place to let bread rise. Don't turn the heat on; the pilot light alone will supply just enough warmth to encourage the rising process.
Copyright 1993 by Paul Prudhomme