Tag Archives: Bread

Wholemeal bread with pumpkin seeds

Here in the Netherlands bread is serious business, as well as in some other European countries. People often eat sandwiches for breakfast as well as for lunch, and since not much goes in between the slices of bread, the bread had better be tasty! It’s interesting to note that in other countries such as Portugal it’s actually the other way around, where lunch and dinner are basically the same type of hot meal. Often in those countries it’s hard to get a nice loaf of bread to make sandwiches. A good thing of bread is that many of them are vegan, or otherwise relatively easy to veganize. So we’ll start off Vegan Mofo 2011 with a nice wholesome bread.




Recently we acquired River Cottage Handbook No. 3, by Daniel Stevens (Bloomsbury, London, 2009), which is dedicated to baking many different kinds of bread at home. It’s a great hands-on guide full of illustrative pictures and practical advice. It spends a good amount of time on getting the basics across, followed by many specialized bread recipes, from classic Italian breads (ciabatta) to more exotic ones (such as vetkoek, which appears to be similar to oliebollen, minus the raisins). One of the final chapters teaches you how to build your own clay oven in the garden, I’m not sure we’ll reach that level (besides the fact that we currently lack a garden…).

We’re slowly starting to explore the book (but a sourdough starter is in the works!), here you can see a nice wholemeal bread topped off with pumpkin seeds. It uses the basic bread recipe provided by Daniel, with the following ingredients:

  • 500g wholemeal flout
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 300ml warm water

The bread’s a bit flat, next time we’ll leave it to rise in a bread pan, to give it a more traditional shape. But the consistency and taste are great, and that’s what counts!

Orange & carrot soup

Orange & carrot soup:


  • 400g carrots
  • 1 onion
  • juice from 1 orange
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt


Start by frying the onion in a low fire until it caramelizes. Add water to a boiling pan and add the carrot grated previously and the onion. Leave it boiling for 15min and then add the orange juice with the salt and nutmeg (as you like) and leave it boiling 5min more. Blend it until you get a nice cream/soup, if you like the pieces of carrot blend it less. Add a bit of vegan-cream and some coriander as the soup is presented in the above photo.

With the soup it is always yummy to eat a nice bread to dip into it. A good idea is to bake a nice carrot scones (salty) to end the day full of vitamin A.

Carrot bread:


  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 grated carrots
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup of water


Mix dry ingredients in a bowl including the carrot and mix it well. Then add the water and until a nice dough comes out, perhaps you have to add more water. Then leave it for 30min in big piece. Later, mash the dough in a shit shape and with a glass make the little balls. Leave them rest for 25min. Then bake them for 20min at 180ºC.

Pumpkin bread

Winter and rain are coming to Netherlands and as a result the pumpkin season is here. Now you can get pumpkins almost everywhere and I just thought that why not to start to use them in the kitchen besides as decoration in gardens and houses as some Dutch people do. One of the first ideas was to make bread.


  • 3 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of pre-cooked pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 3 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons of active gluten flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar


Before starting the bread, you have to boil the pumpkin for around 15min after cutting it in dices. Leave it a side to cool down. In some places you can buy the pre-cooked pumpkin in a tin however if you have time it is better to do it yourself.

While it cools down, mix the dry yeast in a bit of water. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and later add the pre-cooked pumpkin. Then mix as much as you can the pumpkin with the flour, I found easy to just use my hand even if it was sticky. When the dough becomes homogeneous add the sugar to the yeast mix and then add everything to the dough. Keep mixing and adding the remaining water until you get a nice dough. Do not worry if it gets too wet, in my case it was not liquid but it was not easy to remove from my hands. Later place it in a nonstick shape that you prefer and leave it resting for around 40min. Keep in mind that the longer you leave it the fluffier the bread will get however it depends on the time or patience you have :- ). Later bake it at 160ºC for around 35min.

This bread came out really fluffy and moist. As a surprise it was not sweet at all and the pumpkin gave it a really nutty taste (I used butternut pumpkin perhaps if you use another kind of pumpkin might change the flavour). Another surprise was that after 4 days the bread was still really good.

Indian dinner

You can see from top to bottom: Aloo gobi, potato bhaji and Missi roti (gram flour roti). As a drink we had some mango lassi. A gorgeous dinner with a lot of turmeric.

Oat – Flax bread