Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Pumpkin soup and seeded honey bread

Roasted pumpkin #1

Pumpkin soup

one large pumpkin
olive oil
juice of half an orange
boiled potato (if you want the soup to go further)
light brown sugar
pepper - to season
orange juice
salt - to season
soured cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Cut a pumpkin in half and deseed. Set aside the seeds for the bread
Deeply score the pumpkin.
Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the pumpkin, then generously season with pepper and salt.
Drizzle the pumpkin with olive oil.
Bake in the oven until the pumpkin flesh is soft - this should take about 30-40 minutes.
Roasted pumpkin #2
Scoop out the pumpkin flesh, and blend with the orange juice, and potato if using. To thin the soup, you can add water, or preferably stock for extra flavour.
Serve with a dollop of soured cream.
Probably best to keep an eye on the soup when heating...
With a dollop (or two) or soured cream

For me, bread has always been one of those foods where the only quantities used are "a handful of this", "a dash of that", and "whatever looks right". Alternatively, start off with 50g flour per serving.

white or wholemeal flour, for a heartier loaf use rye flour
a teaspoon of yeast / 7g sachet
seeds, you can use the pumpkin seeds from earlier, along with sunflower seeds and sesame seeds
olive oil
warm water

Mix together the flour and the seeds.
Stir the yeast into an espresso-sized cup of warm water. It's important to add this to the mixture as soon as possible, because the yeast immediately reacts with the water, and is at its peak to work with the flour.
Pour the yeast water into the flour until you have a dough begins to come together.
Add oil to the dough-ish mixture until you have an only slightly sticky dough.
Flatten the mixture, and add the honey. I used about three teaspoons worth.
Fold the dough into an envelope shape, so all the honey is in the middle. Like a card if we're going to continue with the envelope metaphor.
Work the dough, and add more flour if it becomes to sticky.
Put in a lightly floured bowl, and cover with cling film.
Leave to rest in a warm place until the dough has doubled. This is usually about one hour.
Once the mixture has risen, work it... Knock the air out of the dough.
Then leave to rise again for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled tin, or freeform on a baking tray.
Brush the dough with milk or beaten egg (for gloss) and sprinkle with salt.
Put in the oven.
After 20 minutes on 220C, turn the heat down to 180C. Cooking the bread for a short time on a high heat allows a crust to form, but if it is too high for too long the top of the bread will be burnt whilst the inside will be underbaked.
The bread should take about a further 40 minutes to cook. The bread is cooked if you hear a hollow sound when knocking the base.

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