Hello, Frugalers! I have returned from a week long hiatus in Aylesbury, a large town home to both Katherine and a world famous breed of duck – there are no prizes for guessing its name. I must admit that the time spent away from work and blogging was rather welcome, though I did miss the latter considerably. Indeed, armed with the knowledge that on my return to Aberystwyth our new kitchen would not yet be installed, my girlfriend and I set about cooking all manner of treats so that I could continue to blog following my break. Fear not, faithful readers, cooking is also a favourite pastime of my wonderful woman – I was not putting the blog ahead of our relationship, I don’t think.
This bread was one of my favourite creations of the week, and though the recipe may seem a little unorthodox, you can rest assured that it produces a wonderfully light and flavourful loaf. The recipe itself is an adapted, and slightly altered, version of that which appears in Gail Duff’s Vegetarian Cookbook, which was particularly popular during the 1980s. In fact, so impressive was this bread that I intend to recreate a few more of Ms Duff’s loaves once my kitchen is back in order.
What must also be evident to the most observant of my readership is that FrugalFeeding has finally taken the plunge and leapt onto the bandwagon known only as ‘Pumpkin’. It pains me to admit that I had my first ever taste of this delightful fruit merely a week ago, and while I remain resolute in my detestation of the scent of a raw pumpkin, it was certainly wrong of me to ever assume that things would not change once the process of cooking had been implemented. Though by no means as enjoyable as squash when eaten alone, pumpkin is perfect when either baked or turned into a soup – a contention which shall be supported in the coming days. For now, though, feel sorry for me in my kitchen-less hovel of a house – we have only a microwave with which to prepare food.
Pumpkin and Sage Bread
Makes one loaf
• 225g pumpkin, chopped
• 15 ml water
• 25g butter
• 14g dried yeast, fast action is preferable
• 1 tsp honey
• 1 egg, beaten
• 225g plain wholemeal flour
• A generous pinch of salt
• 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1. Put the pumpkin into a saucepan with the water. Put the lid on the saucepan and cook on a low heat for around 15 minutes, beat occasionally in order to form a thick puree. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter.
2. Meanwhile, mix together the yeast, honey and egg, before setting them aside to froth. Put the salt, flour and sage in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture, followed by the pumpkin puree and mix thoroughly. The dough will be a little wet, so knead it in the bowl – add 1 tbsp of flour if necessary. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set it aside to rise for an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C and grease a cake tin 6-7 inches in diameter. Knock the dough back and place it in the prepared tin, pressing it to the edges. Cover it once again with the tea towel and leave to prove for 15-20 minutes. Bake for 45 minutes and serve straight from the oven.
Cost: Pumpkin is an extremely cost effective ingredient; we got roughly 3.5 kilograms of flesh for £1.50. As such, this entire loaf should cost no more than 50p to recreate. When eating it, Katherine made the observation that the sort of shops that would sell bread like this would probably price it at around £2 per loaf. I think we can safely say that it is worth making it at home!