Sunday, 13 March 2011

Pumpkin Bread

The saga of the Crown Prince continues! I could have made something I'd already tried but NO! It's time to make something new! I did adapt this from the very helpful Breadmaker Bible; it's a really nice guide if you're making bread for the first time and even covers sourdough. However I disagree with her on using instant fast-action yeast in everything; I find reactivating normal dried yeast gives a better result. Also, you can see if it's still working - the fast-action stuff can go 'off' and your loaf comes out a brick, whereas you know if your reactivated yeast has given up the ghost before you risk any ingredients.

The original recipe uses sweet potato but of course here I use up some more pumpkin. I found it easier to chop and steam the remaining 1kg of pumpkin I had lying around, and then mash 200g of it, than to try to cut out and cook just 200g worth. I nearly pre-toasted the sunflower seeds but you shouldn't: plenty will protrude from the finished crust and these will pick up a nice golden colour anyway. I was also surprised to add them at the start and not on the beep, since some seeds and nuts can be broken up by the bread-maker and put too much oil into the dough, but this didn't happen with the sunflower seeds. As usual, if you don't have a breadmaker, you can do the kneading yourself, rise, knock back, rise again and bake in an oven for 45 minutes at 180C.


  • 50ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 70ml cold water
  • 1 tbsp dried yeast: I use Allinson Dried Active Yeast; comes in a 125g yellow tin
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp mild runny honey
  • 200g mashed pumpkin
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp (preferably freshly) grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 50g wholemeal bread flour
  • 370g strong white bread flour

Put the boiling water in a small pyrex bowl and dissolve in the teaspoon of sugar. Add the cold water and then stir in the tablespoon of dried yeast. Leave for 10 minutes; it should produce a frothy head and smell sour and yeasty. If it doesn't, go buy some new yeast!

Put the yeasty water in the bottom of the breadmaker, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Set it to basic white 2lb option. Remove promptly and cool right-side-up on a wire rack. Allow to settle for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

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