My favorite season of the year is Fall/Autumn. I look forward to wearing cozy sweaters, sitting around a fire outside and taking walks in nature to appreciate the changing leaves and brisk, cool weather. I also look forward to using all the amazing produce from the Fall harvest: pumpkins, squash, nuts, seeds, apples, warm spices. Oh, the things that can be cooked and baked and how wonderful the house smells with cinnamon and nutmeg in the air…
Bursting my pumpkin spice bubble is the fact that here we are in September and unfortunately it hasn’t felt like Fall here lately at all. It’s been hot, humid and dry – a somewhat expected phenomenon in the Summer, but not so much in September. Regardless, I am hopeful that the more expected weather will come as predicted later in the week and that’s why I’m forging ahead with my latest baking project for Pumpkin Yoghurt Bread using Mountain High Yoghurt, which is gelatin-free and halal-certified.
If you’re wondering why it’s important for something like yogurt to get a halal-certification, you can read more about that here in my recent blog post where I explained that and it’s the reason for working closely with them to utilize these products in my cooking, baking and everyday consumption.
In addition to the main ingredient, Mountain High’s Whole Milk Yoghurt (if you prefer fat-free they also have that variety) which helps makes this bread moist, there is also an addition of easy-to-find healthy, wholesome ingredients that go into it:
Raw cane sugar, baking powder, spices, orange peel…
Raw organic almonds (the taste and smell is way different than the conventional), walnuts, pumpkin seeds…
Bread flour, hazelnut, walnut OR grape seed oil, pumpkin puree and organic free-range eggs…
The instructions to make it are super easy but should be followed carefully as baking is different from cooking in that it follows a more technical and scientific approach to testing to achieve the right taste and bake time for the desired outcome.
I use two bowls- one larger and one smaller. This may seem like an insignificant detail but it matters so much. I’ve been making this type of bread for many years and if you flip flop this step (by not adding dry ingredients TO the wet ingredients), for some reason it just doesn’t turn out the same.
I start out with the wet ingredients in a large bowl since we’ll be adding the dry ingredients To this one. I start out first by whisking together eggs, the Mountain High Yoghurt, pumpkin puree and the oil.
All of the dry ingredients go into the smaller bowl (which is more of a medium-size bowl) and includes the spices and the nuts which should be roughly chopped.
Yes, you can do all of this in a stand mixer, but it’s way easier in bowls, in my opinion. You do need a strong whisk to do this, however, since the dough can get a little heavy.
Smells like Fall once you get to this step! Next is the preparation of a bread loaf pan. It should be thoroughly greased with butter and flour so that the bread can slide out nicely after it’s baked.
If you want a more buttery top you can melt a little butter or ghee on top and pour it over before it’s baked.
When it comes out, it smells fantastic and if you let it cool for about 20 minutes it’ll be easier to slice or get out of the pan as a whole.
What I love about this bread is that it’s a real health food, especially for breakfast or snacks. There is no need to look further than your own kitchen- your pantry and your fridge – for the ingredients to put this together yourself, rather than a random coffee house that sells expensive, who-knows-what’s-in-them types of breakfast foods. It’s dense, it’s packed with great ingredients, it’s moist because of the Mountain High Yoghurt addition and the pumpkin puree, all a great combination for creating something you’ll be making over and over again.
Pass it on to someone you know will love it, too!
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup halal-certified Mountain High Yogurt
- 1 cup hazelnut oil, walnut oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup raw cane sugar
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4-1/2 cup green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare two bowls, one large and one medium-sized.
- In the first bowl (larger), prepare the wet ingredients. Combined well with a whisk until there are no lumps in the mixture.
- In the second bowl (smaller), prepare the dry ingredients: the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and nuts- not the pumpkin seeds. Mix with a fork or wire whisk to combine well.
- Slowly pour the dry ingredients INTO the wet ingredients cup by cup, whisking well until the mixture is fully combined and there are no lumps.
- Grease a deep, rectangular baking loaf pan to prepare it for baking. I use butter or ghee and the same type of flour used in this recipe.
- Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan and use a spatula or butter knife to smooth and level it out. Add the pumpkin seeds on top, spread out evenly.
- Place the loaf pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Use a cake tester or non-serrated knife to insert into the middle to make sure it's done.
- Remove from oven and let cool before slicing and/or removing from pan. Cut into generous-sized pieces and serve warm or when completely cooled and used on the go, cut thick pieces and wrap in wax paper to preserve and prevent from drying out.