Pumpkin cornbread

Serve this delicious savoury bread with soup or strong cheeses, such as Stilton, mature Cheddar or a hard goats’ or ewes’ cheese. The bread is lovely toasted and freezes well.

Makes 1 x 450g loaf

  • 250g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 200g yellow cornmeal, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 300ml lukewarm milk
  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 80g raisins
  • 70g toasted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Lightly oil a 450g loaf tin.

Put the pumpkin in a roasting tin and roast for about 40 minutes, until soft. When the flesh is soft, purée it and put to one side. Turn off the oven.

Put the flour, cornmeal, salt, yeast and sugar into a large bowl and add the milk. Mix with your hands until you have a smooth dough. Cover with a cloth and put the bowl in a warm place for the dough to rise for about an hour (it should double in size).

When the dough has risen, stir in all the remaining ingredients. Turn the mixture on to a board floured with cornmeal and knead for several minutes. Place in a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise again in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Heat the oven again to 200°C/gas mark 6. 

Place the dough in the prepared tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

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