The softest bun coloured in yellow with pumpkin and elevated in flavour with sage and garlic. Serve it with a spread of cheese and chutney or dip it in a hearty autumn soup.
Safety in homemade bread
There are so many types of pumpkins in different sizes and colours. They are such a versatile vegetable equally delicious as a main as a dessert.
It’s watery but rich consistency also makes the softest bread you’ll get without the help of milk, butter, or eggs. This recipe is so easy, and you will have successful results even without an expensive stand mixer.
You see, bread is the most satisfying thing to bake at home. You mix flour and water, knead the dough with love and strength, watch it transform and grow into something new within a couple of hours, break the crust and find safety in the soft crumb.
The uncertainty of homemade bread
However, you really don’t know how the bread will turn out until you bite that first piece. You also got to be extremely patient and let the bread cool down for an hour – you risk messing up the humidity of the bread and its final consistency by cutting it straight out from the oven. The wait can be nerve-racking if you are always hungry like me.
Plus, the temperature and humidity of your room are significant but unpredictable factors.
Making bread requires us to give it all we got, with the wisdom of letting go of the things out of our control.
That’s probably why so many of us started baking bread when lockdown first started. Homemade bread is a mindful simple activity that teaches us how to manage what we can and don’t mind the rest.
The way forward with homemade bread
Purpose, choices, success, resolution are words we constantly hear and feel like we need to live our life by them. So what about the wild cards, what about the failures and mistakes, what about the things we cannot change?
I can’t find an answer, so I go back to bread after a long time.
I mix, I knead, I wait, I bake.
After waiting that hour to let the bread cool down, I savour the first bite. The flavours don’t define an accomplishment but tell a story. A story of success as well as failures, change as well of immobility. A bumpy road with good choices and mistakes. A story with an end not known yet.
The entire flat smells of freshly baked bread, I exhale my thoughts and slowly try to let things go.
It’s just matter of time. Bread always shows the way forward.
Pumpkin and sage breadCourse: Bread and pizzaDifficulty: Medium
The softest bun coloured in yellow with pumpkin and elevated in flavour with sage and garlic. Serve it with a spread of cheese and chutney or deep it in a hearty autumn soup.
500 g pumpkin or butternut squash
1 tbsp sea salt
550 g strong white bread flour
1 tbsp honey
7 g fast action dried yeast
70 g water (at room temperature!)
1.5 tsp ground sage
1 tsp garlic powder
10 g salt
25 g extra-virgin olive oil
30 g pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Peel and slice the butternut squash or pumpkin
- Boil for 15 minutes with sea salt
- Mash the butternut squash/pumpkin with a fork. Make sure to squeeze out as much water as possible. Let it cool down.
- Add flour, the mashed butternut squash, 1 tbsp of honey, yeast, garlic, and sage to the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly stir the ingredients.
- Slowly add three-quarters of water and mix for 10 minutes.
- Stir in with the oil for 2 minutes.
- Add salt and the remaining water. Mix for 10 – 15 minutes. Add up to four spoons of flour if the mix is too liquid.
- Work the dough on a wood surface for 2 minutes to form a round ball.
- Let the dough rest for two-three hour in a cast-iron pan* till it has doubled in volume.
- Score the bread and decorate with pumpkin seeds.
- Bake for 30 mins at 200 C (fan oven)
- Tip: for soft bread with a crunchy crust, place a pot of boiling water at the bottom of your oven. This will create the perfect hot steamy environment to bake bread. Make sure your pot can resit at high temperatures and doesn’t have any plastic parts.
- I got ground sage from my parents. It’s not so easy to find this ingredient in the UK. Not to worry, you can easily substitute it with rosemary or thyme. Just make sure to ground them before adding them to the bread.