Yummy Pumpkin Soda Bread

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I am really needing to use up the surplus of pumpkin I cooked and froze up last fall.  This soda bread is  one great way to do it. As we were devouring it over dinner, we decided this bread was one to remember for Thanksgiving.  It is a great accompaniment to a meal, and the pumpkin lends a wonderful moistness without turning it into a traditional sweet pumpkin bread.

If you have never made a soda bread, you don’t know what you’re missing.  They have wonderful crusty outside and a moist, tender inside.  Soda breads are quick breads, so you can throw them together…um…quick.  Which means you get to have fresh bread with dinner even if you didn’t plan ahead.  I can’t tell you how many times quick breads have saved my neck when I realized there was no yeast bread in the house.

This soda bread is a fantastic way to round out a meal.  It is a bit of a compromise bread, however, in that it uses a little white flour and brown sugar.  I am still working on making it totally whole foods without turning it into a hockey puck.  I’ll let you know if I succeed.  Otherwise, look for me out on the ice…

This recipe is adapted from a great baking book — Country Baking by Ken Haedrich — which has now gone out of print.  It is well worth finding a copy if you are able.  A number of my favorite recipes come from this book, many with just minor alterations to suit our families tastes.

Without further ado, here is the recipe:

Yummy Pumpkin Soda Bread
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (either canned or you can make your own)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cups freshly ground wheat or spelt flour (you could probably use store bought, but I haven’t tried it)
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sea salt
1 cup raisins

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

Blend pumpkin, yogurt, brown sugar, egg yolk and lemon juice in a bowl.  In a separate, larger bowl, blend the remaining ingredients.  Make a well in the dry mixture, then pour the liquid mixture in all at once.  Stir in the liquid mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls together in a slightly damp, shaggy mass.  Be careful not to over mix as that will cause your bread to turn out tough.

Liberally flour your kneading surface and your hands.  Turn the dough out onto the floured surface.  Divide the dough in half and very gently shape each half into a ball, spending no more than maybe 10 seconds on each one.

Dust a large baking stone with cornmeal if you have one, otherwise, use a large cookie sheet.  Place the balls on the baking stone or cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between them.  Bake about 35 minutes until they are well browned and give a hollow retort when you tap the bottom.  Cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.  To reheat, wrap the loaves in foil and place in a hot oven for 5 minutes.  Serve with lots of real butter.

Have a great day!

Angela

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