Pumpkin and Cornmeal Soda Bread
I love the combination of pumpkin and cornmeal in this delicious soda bread recipe – it makes this rich loaf more than just a regular bread. Still, the recipe is quite simple and it would be a shame not to try it! It is perfect for all savoury and sweet breakfast combinations.
Even though I am not a big bread eater, and will much rather have a nice, warm soup than a sandwich for breakfast, an occasional loaf of rich and nutritious soda bread can really come in handy – especially during busy working days when there is not that much time left for cooking OR eating complicated meals, and when all you need is a quick snack.
I’ve been experimenting with soda breads a lot over the years, and found that many kinds of grains can work out great in various ratios. Some of my favourites so far have been spelt, buckwheat, rye, oats and corn.
A good combination of grains to get the texture you need
I like to use them in combinations, because often times when you use one cereal alone, you won’t get the best result in terms of consistency and flavour. Using only buckwheat will give you a heavy and crumbly loaf, oats alone can be a bit too “slimy” and retain a lot of moisture, rye also needs to be used in moderation if you want to avoid getting a dense and heavy loaf of bread…
One of the winning combinations for me is the mix of spelt flour, ground oatmeal and cornmeal. Cornmeal really gives a nice texture and a special kind of juiciness to what would otherwise be just a regular, maybe even a bit boring loaf of soda bread. (Sorry, loaf, but I really need an extra kick of flavour and texture to be able to eat bread for more than once in a month.)
Add some fruits or veg to make it super juicy and give it more flavour
In addition to a good combinaiton of grains, I love to give my soda breads a bit more flavour by using fruit purée or blended fruits such as apples or even some dates – a hint of sweetness will really give a nice, balanced note to the overall flavour witout turning your bread into a cake.
Besides fruits, there are some starchy vegetables that will also enrich the soda bread with some flavour and texture – sweet potatoes and different kinds of pumpkin and squash will do the job perfectly.
Just make sure to use pumpkins or sweet potatoes that you had already cooked or baked, otherwise it could be a bit challenging to get your loaf perfectly baked. Raw vegetables will loose their water content in the oven, which could make your loaf turn mushy in the end.
Besides making this cornmeal soda bread taste better, mashed pumpkin will prevent your bread from drying out too much with time. For me, this is an excellent feature, since I normally need more that a week to finish a loaf.
A rich and nutritious loaf that can last for days
These kind of juicy loafs are perfect for that bizarrely slow bread-eating tempo and can last for quite long if stored properly. I just wrap this cornmeal and pumpkin soda bread in a kitchen cloth and it stays fresh for days. I would avoid wrapping it in plastic though, because there is a chance of having it catch mould when it stays in plastic for too long.
Even if your pumpkin and cornmeal soda bread gets a bit dry after some days, it will work amazing for toasting, or just heating a slice in a covered pan to get a bit softer. Also, if you want to save it while it’s still fresh, you can always slice it and store in a freezer.
Pairing this cornmeal and pumpkin soda bread with some homemade fruit preserve, such as this oven-roasted plum jam without added sugar and homemade hazelnut butter can be a delicious breakfast idea.
Pumpkin and Cornmeal Soda Bread
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup carbonated water
- 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup ground rolled oats or oat flakes
- 2/3 cup coarse cornmeal (I used instant polenta cornmeal, but the raw one can be used as well)
- 2/3 cup spelt flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- To make the pumpkin puree, just cook the pumpkin or bake it in the oven, and blend until smooth.
- If the baked pumpkin comes out a bit dry, add a couple tbsp water to blend it more easily.
- Mix the pumpkin puree with water and vinegar.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and gently whisk to combine. Pour the batter into a mould and bake for 60 minutes on 185 °C.
- Let it cool down wrapped in a cotton cloth.