Pumpkin and Sage Bread

Serves: Makes ~2 medium loaves
Cost: ~€1.60
Preparation and cooking time: ~3 hours
Calories: ~85 per slice

Hi everyone, how are you all doing? I wanted to start off by thanking you all for your kind comments in my two year celebratory post. I was really touched by them, as I am with any comment of course, but it’s always especially nice when I can celebrate these little milestones with you all. As you may remember from my previous post, the “Monte Kristy sandwich” was very tasty. If I made it again, I’d definitely add something like roasted pepper or courgette – just to break up the flavour a bit and bring a bit of freshness to the dish. I’d also use a slightly tastier cheese – it’s the sort of sandwich which would go perfectly with a blue cheese, but I was already pushing the ingredient restrictions a bit with the addition of cheddar, so I didn’t want to go too nuts.

Perhaps the greatest discovery from my sandwich adventures though was the bread. I looked around for quite some time online first for a “Pumpkin Bread” recipe which I could use, or at least adapt. They all seemed to be sweetened, spiced, quick breads, made with baking powder. Delicious, I’m sure, but not at all what I was looking for. I didn’t fancy a sandwich made out of slices of something which is effectively a cake. In the end I decided to wing it. I had enough pumpkin to go back and do it over in case it failed the first time so I just thought “what the heck” and forged ahead.

I took my usual bread recipe and basically added a bit more sugar, a weensy bit more oil and completely removed the water and replaced it wholesale with – yep, you guessed it – pumpkin. I added in some sage as well, although probably won’t bother next time. The end result was remarkable and it’s really made me wonder where the limit is regarding vegetables in bread. Can one use cauliflower for example? If cauliflower then why not broccoli? What about beetroot? Maybe even cabbage? I feel like I’ve stumbled on a gold-mine of fantastic natural bread flavourings and colourings. Forget about rainbow cake with a whole array of artificial colourings… what about rainbow bread, bursting full of subtle flavours, and vibrant, natural colourings?

Pumpkin and Sage Bread

Perhaps this is a commonly done technique – to replace all the liquid with puréed vegetables? It’s not something I’ve ever seen before however, and I find it rather exciting. You can definitely expect more posts on this before I’m done – that’s for darn sure :D! Do try the bread, I urge you. If you’re a bread lover then you’d be hard pushed to not enjoy this variation. Best of all, it stays soft and fresh for many days after baking. It was still delicious when we finished it yesterday, and not at all dry.

Boy oh boy, isn’t time moving fast? I just can’t believe it’s November already – before you know it Christmas is going to be here, and then gone, and then it’ll be 2013! I was looking at some photos the other day of myself, but back in 2006. Wow, have I changed; I looked so young then! Anyway, I’ll leave you today with a little picture my wife took the other day. It’s a cellphone photo, so not super awesome quality, but I just love the facial expression. I was asleep at the time, with William gurgling away next to me! He’s changing so fast :).


Have a great remainder of the week everyone – in my next update I’ll post some photos, although I haven’t quite decided where to “take” you yet. I have two fun destinations lined up for you but I’m having difficulties choosing – well, you’ll have to wait and see :). Enjoy the bread and I’ll be back in a few days with something new!

Pumpkin and Sage Bread


Pumpkin and Sage Bread ingredients

  • 500g plain Flour
  • 500g Pumpkin, de-seeded, with skin
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 3tbsps Olive Oil
  • ~15g (3tsps) of quick-acting Yeast
  • 2tsps Salt
  • A good handful of fresh Sage

You will also need

  • An Immersion Blender


  1. Start off by peeling the pumpkin and chopping it into chunks. Place the pumpkin into a large pan of water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes, until the pumpkin is very soft (you should be able to easily slide a fork through the chunks).
    Chopped Pumpkin
  2. While the pumpkin is cooking, place the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Finely chop the sage and add this in as well. Finally, add the olive oil and whisk well to blend the dry and wet ingredients. Once the pumpkin is ready, drain it and then purée it using an immersion blender.
    Puréeing the pumpkin
  3. Pour the pumpkin purée into a measuring jug. You should have ~350-400ml, however, if you have less than 350ml, top up the jug with a little water. Pour the purée into the flour and mix well to combine. You should have the beginnings of a smooth dough, although if the mixture is very wet, add a little extra flour until the dough is manageable. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes before returning to the bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place to prove for about an hour.
    Pumpkin Dough
  4. Punch down the dough and turn out. Divide into two pieces and press into greased loaf tins before covering once more and setting aside in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes. While they are rising, preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius and when the loaves are ready, bake in the hot oven for about 20 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before enjoying!
    Pumpkin and Sage Bread

    Pumpkin and Sage Bread


  1. says

    How lovely to have home made bread. It seems the uses for pumpkin are never ending. Such a versatile vegetable. I love the photo of you and William – it’s priceless! xx

    • says

      Thank you Charlie – I can’t wait to start experimenting with other veg. I’m going to start on Sunday with some “broccoli bread” I think 😀

  2. says

    Awwwww … who’s the big baby? Coochie coo … :)
    Yesss …. I’ve been waiting for this bread! Looks awesome! I can’t wait to make this! Looks like you’re slowly becoming a pumpkin convert, eh?

    • says

      Hi Ping, the bread was amazing, but I’m so excited about trying other vegetables too… I really want to try beetroot, and also broccoli… maybe carrot too!

  3. says

    Love looking back at photo’s like this one, adorable! He he he, I was just thinking the same as Ping, coochi coo! LOL

    I rarely bake homemade bread because my boys and I will eat the entire loaf by the end of the day! Yum!

    • says

      Haha, I know that feeling Lisa. Bread is such a weakness of mine and when it has that special freshly-baked elasticity… it’s irresistible. It’s like “ok, I’ll make a sandwich, but then I’ll just have this one two three slices as a snack while I’m preparing it 😀

  4. says

    you two are so cute (: the bread looks lovely and light. much as I dig hearty crusty sourdoughs, I really like soft breads liek this, and in fact this is the kind of bread you would find in asian bakeries (sans sage of course) and that I grew up with. I’m making this soon as I get hold of some sage!

  5. says

    William looks like he’s giving the glare of death to anyone daring to wake his daddy from his ‘nap’. :) He’s quite the sturdy little fellow.

    The bread does look light and fluffy not dense and stodgy. I think I’d just smear a lot of butter on it and munch away. You mentioned a rainbow bread in your post so I thought of doing a tricolour (pumpkin, spinach, beet or whatever would appeal to you) braid which would rise beautifully and make deliciously colourful slices. You could either put it into a bread loaf pan or just place the loaf onto a baking sheet.

    Something like the one here.


    There are also the 2 colour swirled breads like here.


    • says

      Hi A_ – it’s quite the little face isn’t it, hehe :D.

      I like the idea of multi-coloured bread, although I have to admit that personally, I *think* I’d prefer something like multi-coloured bread rolls, all together in a basket, as opposed to a braid or plait with several colours. I don’t know – no doubt I will definitely try a braid at some point so might change my view completely… although I don’t think I’d be using the same colouring she did in the recipe (strawberry? Yikes… I’ll stick to a nice, rich beet and spinach or broccoli or something).

      • says

        I’m amazed at how much William looks like you, Charles. :)

        As to the braid picture, I didn’t even notice what she used as the colourings (strawberry?) I was just looking for something to illustrate the idea. You’re right that a multicoloured basket of buns would be very attractive.

        • says

          I KNOW, right? My wife, my wife’s family, me… We all think he looks like me, but try telling that to my mother and father! They don’t see it at all!

  6. says

    Well, I was all set to comment on this incredible looking bread until, that is, I scrolled down to the picture of you and William. Oh. My. Goodness. What a keeper Charles! Utterly adorable father and son shot… and I’m amazed how alert he is (clearly, very intelligent ;-)).

    Time is flying, isn’t it. I can hardly believe we are quickly moving into mid-November and then yes, Christmas… Charles, I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming across a savoury pumpkin bread before – not even at my favourite organic bakery! Such a good idea and I’m dreaming about those flecks of sage and the flavour they would add… sage is my favourite fall herb and it goes so well with pumpkin…mmm…this looks fantastic and I’m diggin’ your country feeling photos; beautiful Charles.

    • says

      Haha, thank you Kelly – it was such a surprise… I woke up to see my wife fumbling with my phone (actually she managed to completely mess something up on it and it took me a while to get it back to as it was, lol) but she’d been snapping some pics as I dozed 😀

      You know, I can’t wait to try other veg too… courgette, cauli, broccoli… endless possibilities and colour combinations. I’m wondering… if I make a bread with a heap of pumpkin, and then eat loads of slices of the bread….. does that count as a daily serving of vegetables, lol?! 😀

  7. says

    Hi Charles,
    What an adorable picture of William and you. William is a real cutie!
    The bread looks amazing! Something about making bread at home. Just intimidates me no end.

    • says

      Thank you Asmita – I have to agree… I do think he’s rather sweet :D. You should give this a try, the bread – it has a lovely flavour and it’s not difficult at all!

  8. says

    Oh, boy does that look good. I made a very subpar pumpkin yeast bread…filled with nuts and dried fruit. I much prefer yours. And William is getting SO big! Great photo.

    • says

      Hi Liz – I find it can be difficult to incorporate anything too big into yeast breads… My semolina/flour mix bread started failing some months ago and I realised it was because the grade of semolina I was using was “fine” instead of “very fine”. Just that small difference seemed to be causing it to not rise at all well compared to earlier batches.

  9. says

    Aww, you two look awesome! He is growing fast indeed. Enjoy every precious moment with him, time flies! I am looking at this photo and thinking: where did 16 years go? My son was as little as William just … yesterday! :)
    I am amazed you have time to cook such a great meals. Your wife is one lucky lady! :)

    • says

      Hi Marina, how have you been – it’s been a while… at least it seems like it. He’s grown so much already… but the thing is, because you’re watching him grow, you don’t realise it until you look at a photo and it hits you hard!

  10. says

    Interesting recipe, I’ve not thought about replacing the liquid with a puréed vegetable, very clever! Did it taste very pumpkiny? I love that photo of you and William, so sweet!

    • says

      Hi Eva – I wouldn’t say it tasted *very* pumpkinny, no. It definitely gave it a slight flavour, but it was very tasty, and the main benefit was the colour. I’m looking forward to trying other veg to see how it affects the colour and flavour. It worked incredibly well though… I can’t believe I’d never considered using a veg (or fruit?!) purée before!

  11. says

    First of all, the photo is extraordinary! Secondly I have the same bed sheets 😉 (I hope we don’t have all the sheets identical, because all of mine come from IKEA). William looks so big compared to the previous photos! Let’s hope he keeps these gorgeous sea blue eyes forever! (I know blue eyes change often…).
    Your bread looks as fabulous as in the previous post. Your thoughts and comments made me think of the way I see savoury cakes. I feel that I can prepare them with anything, but I mean the “stuffing” not the batter ingredients (this is the difference between them). Frankly, your bread looks like on of the rare things I am tempted to try with pumpkin (and believe me I am rarely tempted to eat pumpkin), so I consider your recipe a revelation! I’m looking forward to your next experiments with this bread recipe and of course to the trips you will show us soon!

    • says

      Haha, I love those sheets… we bought another set recently… a similar pattern, but slightly different. White sheets, and the patten in a dark green or grey (I forget) but I love IKEA sheets!

      I really hope you try the pumpkin bread Sissi – actually it’s not pumpkinny at all in taste really. Maybe wait until I’ve tried a couple more… I will try I think cauliflower and beet next (separately), or maybe broccoli and beet and I’ll let you know how they turn out. I’ll be making one on Sunday I think. It was such a success with the pumpkin that I wanted to make a video about it for my YouTube channel. Next time I’d personally omit the sage, although it was a really tasty addition – personal preference I guess.

  12. says

    Where to start but first I want to say is that I love the photo of you and William! You will miss those times sleeping together and someone taking pictures of the moment! Now we barely nap together and no pictures – if we have a second to sleep both of us are sleeping! 😉 Treasuee the moments!

    Lovely bread and purée pumpkin color is so beautiful and bread has nice natural orange color too.

    I also need to add I’m another one with the same sheet! We have that for guest comforter. Lol!!

    • says

      Hi Nami – rare is the time that I dare sleep next to William at the moment. I sleep *very* deeply. Seriously, I used to need 7 different alarm clocks around my room to wake me up, and I can pretty much sleep through anything. I think if there was a really strong guy, he could pick me up in my sleep, put me in the forest or something and I wouldn’t realise it at all. Anyway, as a result, I usually just stick to having a quick nap with him in the afternoon or, in this case here, dozing for 30 minutes before I went to work in the morning! I’m so worried I’d roll over him and never even know – eek!

      Great minds think alike, regarding the sheets, I see! 😀

  13. says

    I was really looking forward to this bread recipe and you never disappoint Charles!
    I will have to add pumpkin to the shopping list tomorrow
    The picture of you and William is just precious! Whenever my husband would try to put one of the kids to sleep when they were babies. They would put him to sleep and stay awake :)

    • says

      Thank you Sawsan – I do hope you will be able to give this bread a try – it’s so surprising, and so good. I never thought it would turn out so well!

      There’s something so special about snuggling with a baby isn’t there? When they’re asleep they’re so peaceful and warm!

      • says

        The bread just came out of the oven and I have to say Charles, it is amazing!
        The texture, the flavor and the color! I know I will be making this bread again and again :)
        I just hope one of the loaves makes it till morning, I didn’t take the final pictures because the sun went down
        Thank you for a wonderful recipe Charles

        • says

          Ohhh, great! Thanks for letting me know Sawsan – did you add sage in the end or keep it just pumpkin? So glad it turned out well :)

        • says

          I used dried sage because I couldn’t get any fresh sage. I used a tablespoon and a half and loved it. I love sage and even add fresh sage to my tea, have you ever tried fresh sage with black tea? just a couple of leaves transform the tea into something new and interesting.
          Now back to the bread, I loved the bread with the sage and the kids did too but I may try it without the sage next time and use it as sandwich bread. Will keep you posted which one we like best

  14. says

    William can’t possibly be that big already! He’s impossibly adorable, too, isn’t he! That’s a gorgeous loaf of bread. Like you, I’d probably skip the sage the next time, though the specks of green do look nice. It looks like the perfect bread for a ham sandwich.

    • says

      Hi Jean – he totally is that big! He’s not even 3 months yet… another 11 days to go for that, but he’s already wearing clothes for 6-9 months…..! Can you believe it?!

      Yeah, the sage was a nice addition for with the sausage, but I’m looking to work this kind of bread into our usual bread rotation and for “everyday” use you don’t really want herbs usually.

  15. says

    Hey Charles,
    Awww!! that’s a precious photo you will always cherish..I still have some from when my girls were babies that I hold on to for dear life. Pumpkin bread looks fantastic with specks of sage –perfect for the season. I would love to make a turkey sandwich with it and cranberry chutney.

  16. says

    This bread is not at all like I thought it was when I saw it on the Monte Kirsty. I thought it was pumpkin French Toast. Well this yeast bread is even better! I love sage in yeast breads and I bet the pumpkin make the bread even better and certainly more tasty. Making this bread is a must! I’ll be smiling all weekend from seeing that sweet picture of you and William. He’s so cute and what a loving dad!

    • says

      Hi MJ – I bought some beets last weekend to give the bread a try again but sadly didn’t have a chance to get around to it. I’ll be trying again this weekend for sure… I can’t wait to use beets actually. I think the colour is going to be heavenly!

      I hope you’re able to give it a try :)

  17. says

    I wish I would have had this recipe for our pumpkin French toast. I too was looking for a good pumpkin bread recipe and couldn’t find one. Unlike you I didn’t have the creative genius to make my own. Just genius. I know we would LOVE this bread. And I just adore that picture of you and William. How cute is that?! He’s such a little doll. Thanks again for the sandwich! I’m looking forward to making it. I’m thinking Gruyere cheese for mine. :)

    • says

      Hi Kristy, I think this bread would have been fantastic for the French toast. I’m going to be doing the bread again on the weekend, but using beets :D. You don’t like those, right? Maybe now I’ll find a way for you to eat and enjoy them! I won’t bother posting a whole new recipe, but I will put a photo of the bread in to my next post :)

      Gruyère cheese sounds like a great idea – something with a bit of flavour. You could also use a bit of bleu cheese… not sure if you like that though. I’ll probably add some sliced, roasted bell pepper too I think – something to add a bit of colour variation and “juiciness” to it :)

  18. says

    William is growing and changing so quickly Charles! Good to see that you are taking advantage of those rare moments to nap when you can. Some of my favourite memories are of napping with the girls when they were little. That bread sounds fabulous and was perfect in that Monty Kristy sandwich (did I get it right???).

    • says

      Hi Barb – my wife weighed him this morning… ~8.5 kilos!!! He’s pretty much doubled his birth weight in 3 months, LOL! How is that even possible? 😀

      You have to try baking this bread – really recommended!

  19. says

    LOLOLOL That picture is cracking me up. I think so that foreigner in the room next by must have thought that girl in that house is gone mad. lol

    The bread looks surprisingly soft and airy. I like soft and airy bread, I still remember my grandmother hard farmers kletzn brot. It was great and tasty but I could never eat more then a slice, because it was heavy.

    • says

      Hahaha, thanks Helene – it’s such a lovely little pic, isn’t it? 😀

      You should definitely try the bread – I really recommend it a lot. It’s basically like a loaf of normal bread, but with pumpkin, and a little sweeter. I’m going to try again this weekend using beetroot – can’t wait to see how it turns out! :)

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