Spiced pumpkin bread

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For this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, I was allocated Amanda’s delightful Dancing Veggies blog.

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Amanda’s recipes are easy to make, they are quick and you don’t need tons of expensive or impossible-to-track-down ingredients to make them.

I love Amanda’s frugal approach to her food: while some frugal recipes in books and online can have a tendency to taste frugal, often made by people with no real love of food, Amanda’s taste great and her love of food shines through. She has the knack of showing how to get great flavours out of inexpensive ingredients.

Although Amanda is taking a break from blogging, I wish her every success. And I hope she returns to share her wonderful recipes and food ideas.

Very high on this month’s shortlist from Amanda’s blog were:

I will be making these shortly, although I did make Amanda’s fabulous spicy chilli carrots, which were gorgeous.

Seasonality rules!

Any recipe that uses seasonal ingredients gets my vote and as our squashes and pumpkins are currently being harvested I had to go for Spiced pumpkin bread.

A perfect autumnal loaf, this bread has bags of flavour from roasted pumpkin and the curry powder: just enough to give a spiced back-note.

This bread is particularly great when toasted and buttered – seriously the simplest of foodie pleasures! It is also terrific served with a home-made soup (curried parsnip soup is absolutely stunning with this bread!), but even served with a couple of cheeses and chutney, you have a completely satisfying snack!

About the recipe

Amanda’s recipe is for a bread machine so I have adapted it slightly for UK measurements and for making if you don’t have a bread machine. And to be honest, I adore baking bread by hand: it is one of life’s greatest joys for me.

I used a banneton for that lovely ridged effect, but you can also use an oiled loaf tin, mini loaf tins (which I did with some of the dough) or shape into rolls.

Mix and match the flavours!

This bread is too good to make just once and I have made it a few times now, sometimes exactly the same but at other times changing things a little as the mood take me:

  • using butternut squash in place of pumpkin
  • adding finely chopped fresh sage leaves in place of the curry powder and the spices
  • adding about 1 tablespoon of black onion seeds

You can either purée the roasted pumpkin/squash fully or just roughly crush it (it will break down somewhat as you knead the bread): a few small pieces within the bread is to be applauded!

The use of ale in place of the milk/water works so well in the bread, too. Each adds their own characteristics: the ale gives a deeper, almost bitter flavour that complements the spices; the milk gives a more mellow flavour and a softer texture. But using all water gives a great loaf.

Click on the blue frog at the bottom of the page to see the recipes others in SRC have chosen this month.

Recipe: spiced pumpkin bread – makes one large loaf

  • 360g strong white bread flour
  • 2 level teaspoons medium curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 8g fine salt
  • 7g easy-blend dried yeast (1 sachet)
  • 200g roasted pumpkin or butternut squash flesh*, cooled
  • 230-250ml milk, water or ale
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted

*to roast pumpkin or butternut squash, slice into chunks, rub oil all over the flesh and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and roast, uncovered, for about an hour at 150C (fan) until the flesh is soft.

(1) Mix the flour, curry powder, sugar, salt and yeast together in a bowl. Add the roasted pumpkin, the butter and about 200ml of the liquid. Stir to give a soft but not sticky dough, adding more liquid if necessary.

Note: it is far better to have a wetter dough than a dry one: the wetter the dough, the more open and light the baked bread will be.

(2) Knead for about 10-15 minutes either in a food mixer with the dough hook or on a very lightly floured work surface.

(3) Place the dough in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave at room temperature until it has about doubled in side: leaving it in a cooler rather than warmer place will take longer but you get much more flavour.

(4) Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for a few moments. Shape and place into a well-floured banneton or an oiled 2lb loaf tin.

(5) Cover with clingfilm or pop in a large plastic bag and leave at room temperature for about an hour or so until well risen: it should be just about at the top of the banneton or a little above the top of the loaf tin: when you gently press the dough with your finger it should slowly spring back.

(6) Bake in an oven pre-heated to 220C (fan) for 30-40 minutes, turning down the temperature to 200C after about 10 minutes. The bread should feel hollow underneath if you tap it. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

19 thoughts on “Spiced pumpkin bread”

  1. WOW! Look at that bread, such a light crumb, it looks fabulous! I have saved this for bread making days and when I have a glut of pumpkins too! Karen


  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed the bread!!!! I just got a new bread machine and already have a pumpkin on the counter ready to roasted 😀 I also had your blog this month and made your roasted onion scones – delicious!!!


  3. What an intriguing idea, as soon as I get a working oven again, this will be one of the first recipes I make. I’m thinking shaped into rolls, it would be perfect for our American thanksgiving feast.

    Liked by 1 person

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