Join the #PumpkinRescue!
Every year, an estimated 15 million pumpkins weighing around 18,000 tonnes (about the same as 1,500 double decker busses) are binned in the UK alone after Hallowe’en. Led by the charity Hubbub to highlight the issue of avoidable food waste, #PumpkinRescue has also helped around 17,000 pumpkins to be saved from composting or landfill since 2014.
150g white bread flour
2-2.5g fresh yeast – about ¾ level tsp (or 1-1.5g dried active yeast)
280g wholemeal bread flour
130g white bread flour
65g pumpkin, grated
Mix the sponge ingredients together in a large bowl, cover and leave for 12 hours or overnight at room temperature to ferment until bubbling.
Add the dough ingredients to the sponge, mix and then use your preferred method of kneading/working the dough to develop it fully. Cover and leave to prove until fully risen – probably about three hours at room temperature (+/- 20°C).
Take a small piece of the dough, divide it in two and shape half into a ball and the other as a small cylinder. Shape the rest of the dough as a boule, then press the small ball into the top at the centre, then the cylinder into the small ball to form the stalk. Place the dough on a greased baking sheet, dust with flour, cover with a bowl (or other container large enough to allow the dough to expand without touching it) and leave to rise again – probably about two hours at room temperature.
Heat the oven to 230°C. Make shallow, straight scores downwards from the base of the stalk to mimic the contours of a pumpkin and put straight into the oven. Bake for around 40 minutes until golden brown and fully baked inside.
Find more recipes to help save pumpkins from a ghoulish ending on the Hubbub website.
Rachel says: “Adding grated pumpkin gives a golden hue and a moist loaf. You can replace pumpkin with butternut squash and a handful of sunflower or pumpkin seeds in the mix is also a lovely seasonal addition.”
© Rachel Lawrence
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