Monday, 12 December 2011

Making Pumpkin Bread

I had a big pumpkin left over from Halloween and even though I had used plenty for dinners, I still had a fair bit left over. So I decided to pop some into a basic bread recipe and make pumpkin bread - just for something different.

Here's what I did...

Chop up about 500g of pumpkin - any kind!

Pop it in a pot and cook it until its soft.

In the meantime, put 250mls of filtered water, an egg, 2 table spoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a bowl.

Add 4 cups of flour (you can put up to a cup of wholemeal if you want to but too much and you will get a very "heavy" bread) 

Add 2 teaspoons of dried yeast - I use Lowans, found in the bakery section of my local Woolies.

Mix it up in the bowl with a knife or spoon and when its mixed as much as you can get it - up end the contents of the bowl onto the bench. I added some sunflower seeds and a bit of dukka for added flavor and texture to this batch - probably about 2 table spoons in total.

Once your pumpkin is cooked and cooled (other wise you will burn your fingers!) incorparate the pumpkin into the dough.

If the dough is too sticky - add more flour a little at a time. If its too dry, add water at about a tablespoon at a time. If you end up with too much flour in proportion to the other ingredients, your dough will turn into bread. The yeast will only be able to work under certain conditions and if you go too far away from them you will simply bake a flour brick!!!

Mush that pumpkin into the dough! Great fun but very messy!

When you have a reasonable dough - pop it back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise.

Like this!

Punch it down (just like it sounds) and start kneading it into a dough ball again and then leave it to rest for 5 minutes or so.

In the meantime, grease your bread tins with a bit of olive oil.

Cut the dough ball in half

Shape into a loaf shape and pop each one into its tin.

And leave them to rise again.

And then pop them in the oven!

By the time my oven got hot enough, my loaves had risen too far and were trying to escape. So I just pulled the tops up off the edges and piled them on top for this "rustic" look!!!

It didn't make much difference as you can see - they rise again!

The tops brown too quickly in my wee oven and so I have a piece of al/tin foil that i use to allow the rest of the bread to cook before the tops turn black and catch on fire!

Once they sound hollow rather than solid when you tap them with your fingernail - pull them out of the oven and leave to cool in he tins for about 5 minutes.

Then once they have shrunk slightly - tip 'em out onto the bench and let the steam escape from the bottom of the loaf so it doesn't go soggy. I have discovered that if you eat the bread too hot it will feel like it hasn't been cooked properly - a bit like its hot dough not bread. If you wait till its warm rather than hot you will have a much better eating experience - although trying to tell the kids that is impossible!!!

Score card:
  5/5 Making your own food is very green! (and fun!)
Frugal-ness: 5/5 Very frugal. Using up food that might otherwise go to waste.
Time cost: Part of the afternoon maybe 15minutes of actual mixing and kneading but about 2 hours of rising and waiting.
Skill level: Pretty easy - give it a go!
Fun -ness: Great Fun! making bread is great to do with kids too - this recipe is pretty forgiving!

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