Wednesday, 26 October 2011


I'm loving Halloween and Autumn and crunchy leaves and orange and gold and soup and snuggling in my dressing gown.  Autumn was always my mothers favourite time of year and I never really got it, but it was the colours she loved and the low sun you get now makes them look spectacular.

Soon we shall have the aroma of bonfires, I love that smell, like incense filling the air but first we have halloween and all the excitement that comes with it.  

We all enjoy carving pumpkins in our house so with 5 of us we end up with a lot of pumpkin to eat.  There is the usual pie and soup, then we have it fried with shrimps and spices and now we have bread.  

I have to admit that the flavour wasn't particularly strong but it does give it a warm yellow ochre colour.

Pumpkin has a very high water content so you need to avoid adding anymore to it.  I steam mine to cook
it before I puree it in the blender.

Wash the seeds, dry them and use them on your bread or stick them on a baking tray sprinkled with a little peri peri seasoning and roast at 180 C for 20 minutes.  Once they are cool they will be crisp and a good snack.

600g Strong Bread Flour
30g Butter
10g Salt
15g Yeast
200g Pumpkin Puree
100g Water
100g Milk

Add the Butter to the flour and rub it in as you would with pastry, once it has disappeared into the flour stir in the salt and yeast.

Next add the wet ingredients.  You can do this by hand or in a mixer.  I tend to start it off in the mixer and once it's all combined I knead it by hand.  You should have a fairly wet but manageable dough.  To help it stop sticking when kneading, drizzle a little oil onto the surface.  Try not to add flour as this will give you a tougher dough.  The softer your dough, the softer your bread will be.

Dust your hands with flour and knead, stretching the dough, for a good ten minutes.  You will feel it become more elastic as you work.

Leave your dough to prove in a large bowl covered with a  t-towel for 1-1 1/2 hours somewhere warm and draft free.  It will double in size, I always get so excited when I go back to it and it has grown to fill the bowl.

Now knock the dough back by punching the air out or kneading it back to it's original size.  Form the dough into the shape you want your loaf on a baking sheet or stone.  I made a small loaf with half and 10 rolls in a brioche tin.  Leave it to rise again for another hour.  Use a sharp knife to score a pattern on your loaf then bake at 200 C for 30-40 minutes.

To check if it's cooked, you can tap the underneath of your bread, if it sounds hollow it is done.