It's September so you would think spring is on its way with blossom and spring flowers? But no winter this week has to have a last blast with gales, hail & freezing temps. So here was me thinking I'll do something spring like for the blog. Arrgghhhhh - change of plan and back to the hearty winter food.
Soup & bread, or toast, or bagel or flatbread feature quite a lot in my winter repertoire, so I had to crank out a loaf to go with my winter soup while the weather misbehaved outside. Yeah I know this Pumpkin, Fennel & Olive bread looks like it's had a bad spray tan at the beauty salon, but beneath it's dodgy looks lies a scrumptious bread with heaps of flavour.
Give it a go you won't be disappointed!
PUMPKIN, FENNEL & OLIVE BREAD
Recipe by Lisa Featherby
250 gm peeled pumpkin cut into 2cm dice
2 tsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp fennel seeds, plus extra to garnish
330 gm bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp caster sugar
¾ tsp dried yeast
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
150 gm coarsely chopped pitted black olives
To serve: butter
Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Toss pumpkin in a bowl with grapeseed oil to coat, then transfer to hot pan and fry, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelised (5-7 minutes). Add fennel seeds and stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Season to taste and set aside to cool (15-20 minutes).
Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar and yeast in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix to just combine. Add olive oil, 250ml water and ½ tsp salt, mix until a soft dough forms, then set aside covered until doubled in size (30 minutes).
Fold pumpkin and olives loosely through dough with your hands, knocking it back at the same time, then turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a rough 45cm long cylinder. Transfer to a sheet of baking paper, bring ends together, overlapping a little, and press to seal. Set aside uncovered until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Preheat oven to 250C. Brush loaf lightly with olive oil and scatter with fennel seeds. Spray oven with water before placing bread in. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 180C and bake, turning tray once, until golden and crusty (10-15 minutes). Cool briefly on a wire rack (5 minutes), then serve with butter. This loaf is best eaten on the day it’s made.
All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2018