This week the children of the Willow Room made a delicious treat: Pumpkin Bread.

They baked a sugar pumpkin, scooped out the soft pumpkin flesh with spoons – what messy fun – and pureed it in a blender ready to use for making pumpkin bread.  They then ground their own flour, soaked it in yogurt overnight and baked the pumpkin bread the next day.

Since it was so much fun, we want to share the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree made from a sugar pumpkin (see below)
3 cups spelt or whole wheat flour (freshly ground if possible)
2 cups yogurt or buttermilk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup of maple syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda (aluminum free)
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

 children scooping pumpkinSteps:

1. On the day before making the pumpkin bread, soak flour in yogurt or buttermilk in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours – bread will rise better if soaked for 24 hours (soaking flour makes minerals more available and the flour easier to digest).

2. Preparing the pumpkin:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the sugar pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds (you can keep the seeds for roasting).
Set each half in a pyrex pan and fill the pan up to one inch with water.
Bake in the oven for one hour or until the flesh is soft.
Let cool and scoop out the pumpkin flesh into a bowl, then puree in a food processor or using a handheld blender.

children making pumpkin bread

3. Making the pumpkin bread:

Blend remaining ingredients into the soaked flour. Pour into a well-buttered and floured loaf pan  (stoneware will give you more evenly baked bread than glassware).

Bake at 350 degrees for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Variation:  Pumpkin Muffins

Pour batter into a muffin tray lined with paper baking cups.

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