First up, apologies for the long time between posts, I think I’ve mentioned a few times that there are a couple of times a year when I go into lockdown. I work full-time and I’m also studying, so when it comes to the end of the semester, assignments fall due and things almost always come up at work as well. It leaves me with little time to do the things I love… gardening, going to the markets, yoga, cooking and, of course, writing the blog. I’m pleased to report that I’m now on the other side of that madness and the way to celebrate my freedom was with some delicious pumpkin bread.
I’ve been meaning to have a go at this bread for a while now, we’ve got a bit of a glut of pumpkins in the cupboard at the moment from Dad’s vegie patch so I’ve been coming up with some creative ways to use them. From soup, to bread to tarts and roasted, they really are an amazingly versatile vegetable, not to mention being rather good for you, too. Before I started cooking I had a look at a few recipes in books and on the net and noticed that a lot of them used canned pumpkin. I don’t think I’ve ever seen pumpkin in a can here (other than baby food!), it seems kind of silly given how easy it is to prepare some purée but you can certainly use it if you’re short on time or prefer it.
I ended up basing the recipe on one I saw over at one of my new favourite go-to blogs, Love and Lemons, and added some Meyer lemon for a bit of zing. You could serve it up with a slathering of butter and jam but I think it is wonderful just as is. It’s light on oil and sugar but just sweet enough to still consider it a treat, I enjoyed it the most on the second day when it had become lovely and moist after a night in the fridge. Delish, I think I might have to bake another loaf!
- 2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
- 2 tspns mixed spice
- 1 tbspn pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- a pinch of salt
- 1 pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup + 2 tbspns olive oil
- ½ cup dark muscovado sugar (brown sugar would also be fine)
- ½ cup water
- zest and juice of one Meyer lemon (if you don't have access to Meyer's then just use the zest and juice of half a regular lemon)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Cut up the pumpkin, removing skin and seeds. Cut into small chunks and then toss in a little olive oil.
- Roast in the oven until soft, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly then add it to the blender. Purée until silky smooth, you might need to add a little water (about a tablespoon at a time) to help it along.
- note: Leave the oven on!
- Allow to cool while you prepare the other ingredients, grease and line a loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour and mixed spice.
- Add the pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips and salt.
- In another medium-sized bowl, add 1.5 cups of the pumpkin purée, eggs, olive oil, sugar lemon zest & juice and water. Combine really well ensuring there are no lumps.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour mixture into the loaf pan and pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes (depending on your oven). The top will brown a little but test with a skewer to make sure the centre is cooked.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- Serve dusted with a little icing sugar and a cup of Earl Grey.
Note: One good-sized pumpkin will yield a couple of cups of purée. You could use the excess in pumpkin soup or just make another loaf! :)