Apparently, I’ve decided Mondays nights are for baking pumpkin bread. After a long Monday at work, an hour at the gym and a quick stop at the shops for fruit, I came home to make another attempt at pumpkin bread while pulling together dinner.
This attempt was a flaming success thanks to the recipe supplied by How to Cook Good Food. This recipe relied on yeast and proving time with the cooked pumpkin acting as the main liquids and binding agents in the bread.
500g strong white bread flour
2tsp fast action yeast
450g cooked and mashed butternut pumpkin
Room-temperature water – if necessary
Olive oil for glazing,
Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- Cook the pumpkin, drain then mash it in a food processor or with a potato masher to achieve a smooth puree,
- Put the flour, yeast, salt, paprika into the bowl of a food mixer with a dough hook attached,
- Add in the cooked, mashed pumpkin then begin to knead the dough in the machine and continue for 10 minutes on a medium setting. If the dough is dry then add in a splash of tepid water. You can knead the dough by hand if you don’t have a food mixer,
- After 10 minutes cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rise slowly for between 1&1/2 to 2 hours,
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knock it back as well as shape it into round loaf and place it on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Cover with a tea towel and let prove for a further 30-60 minutes,
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and once the oven is at the correct temperature, brush the top of the loaf with olive oil and sprinkle over the pumpkin and linseeds,
- Spray some water into the hot oven and bake the loaf for 30-40 minutes until the crust is firm and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.
- Let the loaf cool on a wire rack before eating.
Recipe rating: 4.5 out of 5
Recipe review: It worked! It worked so well. The bread proved nicely, despite a gladwrap incident that led to a third round of proving and there’s nothing I love better when baking than seeing the dough actually rise.
I didn’t bother to puree the pumpkin in a food processor. I let it boil for long enough that I could mash it with a fork and it came out nice and smooth without needing to use another appliance.
The bread came out very crusty (even though I forgot to spray water in the oven) and my first slice (edge of course) was still warm when I covered it in nut butter to try.
Changes for the future: I will marinate and then bake the pumpkin for extra flavour. I’d like a bit of oregano, rosemary and sage with pumpkin – I’d dry toast them first for a more intense flavour. I’d also leave off the seeds for garnish, the crust is so crusty they all fall off as soon as you start cutting into the bread. I’m going to experiment with mixing a handful into the dough between the proving sessions.