Pumpkin sourdough loaf

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I showcased this loaf in my latest IMK post.  As I mentioned in that post, I always make the same recipe (this one) but, the other day, decided to make an effort and try something new.  And with all those pumpkins lying around, a pumpkin loaf seemed logical.

I must say, I was pretty happy with the loaf when I took it out of the oven but, at the time of writing my IMK post, I hadn’t cut the bread and tasted it.  The loaf was well risen and a delightful colour.  It verged on warranting the description, ‘beautiful’.

The bread did not disappoint when I had some for breakfast the next day.  The crumb is tender and the crust is soft, much like a sandwich loaf.  Despite the colour, there is no discernible pumpkin taste.  I most certainly will be repeating this one.

This recipe is from Discovering Sourdough by Teresa Greenway.

Pre-ferment:

  • 255g active 100% hydration starter
  • 372g water
  • 350g bread flour

If you have a 166% hydration starter (ie, a starter from Celia ), then the ingredients for the pre-ferment are:

  • 255g active 166% hydration starter
  • 340g water
  • 382g bread flour

Dough:

  • All the pre-ferment
  • ½ cup evaporated milk (I just used ordinary milk)
  • ¾ cup pumpkin, cooked, mashed and cooled (or, if you are in the States, canned pumpkin)
  • 2 tbs*  oil
  • 1 heaped tbs* honey**
  • 572g bread flour
  • 20g salt

*These are 15 mil tablespoons.

**See below.

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Method:

In the late afternoon, around 16:00 – 17:00 hours, prepare the pre-ferment.

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Cover lightly and allow the mixture to ferment at room temperature until around 21:00 – 22:00 hours.
  3. Put the pre-ferment in the fridge.

The next day: 

  1. Take the pre-ferment out of the fridge and allow it to get to room temperature.
  2. Put the pumpkin and milk into a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Combine all the ingredients (except the salt) in the bowl of your mixer.
  4. Using a low setting, mix the ingredients until just incorporated.
  5. Cover the bowl and let stand for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the salt.
  7. Mix the dough on low speed for 4 minutes.
  8. Oil a large plastic container, place the dough in it and cover.
  9. Three times, at hourly intervals, fold the dough.  This is a bit tricky as the dough is very sticky but do your best.  When folding, keep the dough in the container and don’t add flour.
  10. After 4 hours, divide the dough in 2 and shape the loaves.  Try not to deflate the dough too much at this stage.  If you are making any additions**, now is the time.  At this stage, and if desired, sprinkle pepitas on the loaves.
    I decided to make 2 sandwich loaves, so I made 2 batards and then placed them, right side up, in my prepared bread tins.  My tins are about 24cm long and 10.5cm wide at the top.
    If you are making free-form loaves, place the loaves, upside down, in baskets lined with cloth and generously sprinkled with flour or in bannetons.
  11. Allow the loaves to prove for 1 -2 hours.  I left mine for about 2 hours.
  12. An hour before baking place a tile on your oven shelf and preheat your oven to 230ºC
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes turn the oven down to 200°C and bake for another 20 minutes.
  14. Take the loaves out of the oven and release them from their tins.  Cool on a cake rack.

If you are making free form loaves, check out this post for baking instructions.

**Additions:

Teresa suggested:

  1. adding two heaped tablespoons* of honey instead of the one; and
  2. sprinkling cinnamon and raisins on the dough when shaping the loaves.

I decided to add 100g of raisins (which I’d soaked in boiling water for a couple of hours) and a few pepitas.  Next time, I will follow the instructions a little more closely because the raisins would be better in a sweeter loaf and the cinnamon would add a nice touch.

Another alternative, if you want to keep the loaf savoury, is to keep the honey as is and add pepitas, sunflower seeds, pecans or walnuts when shaping the dough.  Each would make a lovely addition.

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Spicy pumpkin loaf

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As you all know, I made my mum’s pumpkin fruit cake last week.  I am not a fan of fruit cake but thought I would make it because I have pumpkins galore.  Also, every now and again I do like to make something that my mum made.

In my hand written recipe book, on the same page as mum’s fruit cake is this recipe.   I had made it before but it was long forgotten. Continue reading

In my kitchen – July 2015

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In my kitchen:

Are snow peas.  This is the first year I have grown snow peas so I am pretty excited.  I must admit, they are not the most prolific of crops but, in a way, that is a relief.  We can, at least, keep up with them.  We had a lovely stir fry last week and will, again, tomorrow night.  It’s funny how “summery” they seem, compared to wintry roasted root vegetables. Continue reading

Pumpkin fruit cake

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You know, I have never been a fan of fruit cake and I place the blame squarely on this recipe.

My mum was a take it or leave it type of person.  If you didn’t want what was on offer, then you could go without.  Many times I would be starving, as only a child can be, and I would ask mum, ‘What’s to eat?’  The answer was, invariably, ‘There is some pumpkin cake in the tin.’ There was always bloody pumpkin cake in the tin!!  For the whole of my childhood, I don’t remember there ever being another variety of cake in the tin. Continue reading

Aunty Margaret’s cheese biscuits

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Aunty Margaret was always my favourite Aunty and I was lead to believe I was pretty special to her.  When I was little, my mum told me the story (I don’t know whether it is true or not) that, when I was born, Aunty Margaret told her,  “You have enough daughters, this one is for me.”  Aunty Margaret always wanted a daughter but had two sons.

I named my first doll Margaret and, many years later named one of my darling Bichons, “Maggie”, both after this wonderful woman. Continue reading

Vegie patch update – June 2015

IMG_2470copy1Before I begin this post, I must apologise for the photos.  They were taken with the incorrect white balance.  I have done my best to fix them, but when they are so out, it is hard to get them right.  Of course, if I was in Bridgetown, I could just go outside and take them again.  Alas, I am in Perth.

Bad photos not withstanding, we must proceed and the subject of the above photo is the main reason for this post.  I have had the whip out for ages now and Maus has, finally, finished my compost bin(s)!  Isn’t it beautiful.  I just love it.  She’s a gem :) Continue reading

A French chicken curry

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I bet the title has got you smiling.  It certainly made me smile.  What next?  I guess each country puts its stamp on cuisine from other nations.

Sometimes, inspiration for dinner is hard to come by.  I had just flicked through Madhur Jaffrey’s A Taste of India (a great book, BTW) and had not been inspired.  I was thinking “chicken” but I was in one of those moods where everything sounded like too much effort.  I decided to pass the “What’s for dinner?” baton to Maus.

Continue reading