What to do with pumpkins now that halloween has gone

I love pumpkins but they can be so big it is sometimes hard to know how to use them all. One of my favourites is pumpkin bread. This recipe is from Flavoured Breads by Linda Collister and it is both easy and tasty.

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

700g pumpkin – peel and chop this into 1cm cubes so that you end up with 400g of flesh, 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil, 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, 2 teaspoons golden castor sugar, 15g of fresh yeast (or 1 x 7g sachet of dried yeast), 350g of strong white bread flour, extra flour for dusting, 1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt for glazing.

Method

Without adding water cook the pumpkin by steaming or microwave until it is soft. Put it in a processor with the olive oil and puree until smooth, then cool until just warm and mix in the salt and sugar. Cream the fresh yeast into a smooth paste and add to the puree, if you are using dried yeast add that to the flour. Put the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.  Spoon the puree into the the well then mix to make a soft but not sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and kneed thoroughly for about 5 minutes (or 3 minutes at a slow speed in a mixer with a dough hook). Shape the dough into a round loaf about 18cm across and put on a floured baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Press your thumb in the middle of the risen loaf, then carefully brush with the egg glaze. Score the loaf into segments with a sharp knife and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C/400 degrees F/Gas mark 6 for about 30 minutes until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.

This is such a great bread to have with soup, with cheese toasted, or just with butter.

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