Pumpkin Spice Soda Bread

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I’m thinking of re-naming my blog: The Ill-equipped Kitchen, as a spice grinder I do not have, among other things. However, I did have an empty supermarket salt grinder, which I was able to use to grind up the allspice.

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I have never ordered a pumpkin spice whatnot from a coffee chain, but I was craving a seasonal fix of spicy carbohydrates and thought a pumpkin spice soda bread would hit the spot. Soda bread is one of the easiest breads to make, which is why I make it all the time! It’s easy to add extra ingredients depending on the seasons or your craving. Or just say feck it and keep it simple – you’ll still turn out a wonderful loaf.

Pumpkin spice was not invented by a coffee chain. (I think. Right? Surely they didn’t…). You can make a batch of your own pumpkin spice to have on hand at home for adding to whatever you might be whipping up, whether a beverage or some baking.

I followed the recipe at Old Farmer’s Almanac and love the results:

⅓ cup ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg or mace
1-½ teaspoons ground cloves
1-½ teaspoons ground allspice (Piment in the German supermarket!)

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Keep a batch of pumpkin spice in your kitchen, give a jar of away as a gift. It’s a lovely warming thing to have on hand during Autumn and Winter.

For soda bread, the recipe I follow is:

500g plain flour

500 ml buttermilk (let it sit to get to room temperature)

1 teaspoon baking soda (Natron in the German supermarket!)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon honey

If adding pumpkin spice: add 1 1/2 teaspoons to the dry mixture and mix in well

      1. Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and make a well in the centre
      2. Slowly add the buttermilk to the well, gently working in the flour with a fork until it looks ‘scraggy’. Don’t overwork the dough too much
      3. Once all your buttermilk is in, flour your hands and work surface, turn out the dough and bring it together to create a round loaf. Again don’t over work it, just enough to bring it together
      4. Flour your baking tray, transfer your soda bread to the tray
      5. Wet a sharp knife and cut a deep cross in the dough – this allows the heat to get right in there during baking, to ensure you get a nice rise on your soda bread. Very important!
      6. Bake at 200 C for 45 mins or until golden brown. If using the pumpkin spices, your dough will already have a light brown colour, so it may be hard to tell when it’s actually done. Watch it so it doesn’t burn (not likely); use a fork to test the inner dough of the loaf, if it comes out clean, your pumpkin spice soda bread is ready to be demolished
      7. Try and let it cool for 10 minutes (it will be easier to slice, but damn it’s hard to wait)
      8. Slather with butter, honey or cream cheese.

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