Thursday, 31 October 2013

Lisa Bakes: Spooky Pumpkin and Walnut bread

Whatever it is about the Autumn and Winter time, I just love all things cosy. All the foodie people I know say to use seasonal fruit and vegetables where possible so with Halloween, there's an abundance of pumpkins! When better to try my hand at making pumpkin bread?

So with cautious optimism, I took to the kitchen after trekking through the baking aisle in Tesco for supplies. Also, baking question - are baking powder and baking soda the same or is there a difference?
Ready to be whipped together to make some tasty bread!
For this recipe, I needed to make pumpkin puree. I had read a few different ways online and opted for the microwave method, which was the same way I cook potatoes, so no new territory there! I used about half of a small cooking pumpkin for this recipe which made about twice the puree I needed, so in future I'd probably only need a quarter of the pumpkin.

I chopped them into roughly the same size, put them and some water (about 1/4 of the dish) into a pyrex dish, covered and microwaved it for 11 minutes. Before stirring and microwaving for a further 5 minutes. The skin came away fairly easily from the the pumpkin and then it was just a case of mashing away!

My Mum always taught me to put all the ingredients to one side of the main mixing bowl, and then once the ingredients go in, to move them to the other side of the bowl. It makes it easier to check what has gone in the mixture at a glance.

I mixed the dry ingredients together, then added all the liquid ingredients. When I was mixing, it seemed to be a bit runny. But maybe this is normal?
Mm.. Er.. Squidgy!
Ready for its maiden voyage to the oven!
I lubed up a baking tin with a knob of butter, poured the mixture in and hoped for the best.

And it started to rise!

And then it rose some more! I was actually worried it was going to reach the top of the oven. Note to self: move oven tray down.

The smell of the bread baking filled the apartment and it created a wonderful festive ambience. But I wasn't done yet!

The first time I took the bread out to check if it was baked, it seemed a little squidgy so I popped it back in to oven. I didn't want it to be overbaked or burnt.

From watching programmes like the Great British Bake Off, I remember they would leave bread to cool on a wire rack. I had to settle for a steamer. Well, it has holes in it and should allow air to circulate. Needs must and all that jazz!

Then the best part of any baking adventure - tasting what you've made! It got a big thumbs up from Mr. Ree and the spices really made it tingle the tastebuds. It was moist and the top had a lovely sweet crunch to it from the brown sugar. Next time I might add a bit more walnut though, but that's just me! Although I had inadvertently bought walnut halves which required a bit more chopping, but it was worth it. Next time I'll be buying walnuts of the chopped variety!

All in all, I came out fairly unscathed from this recipe. It wasn't difficult to make either. Definitely one to try again!

Fancy giving it a go yourself? Here's the recipe. Good luck and happy baking! :)

Pumpkin and Walnut Bread

  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 eggs        
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda        
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg    
  • 250g pumpkin puree    
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar        
  • 75ml water
  • 30g chopped walnuts    
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon    
  • 300g caster sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Put sugar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices into a large bowl. Stir to blend.
3. Add pumpkin puree, water, oil, eggs and walnuts. Beat until well combined.
4. Pour mixture into greased bread tin.
5. Sprinkle brown sugar on top.
5. Bake for 50-60 mins. Skewer with knife/skewer through centre of loaf. Once it comes out clear, it's done!
6. Take it out of the tin and leave to cool. How you enjoy it is completely up to you! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment