Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The 3P Loaf - Pumpkin, Poppyseed And Polenta

I first made this loaf a couple of weeks ago, and it was a bit of a disaster I have to report.  I think I've said it before but I really wonder sometimes if cookbook authors and writers for food magazines actually try out their own recipes.  This loaf was a bit of a sad and sorry mess, so I have made it again and this time it turned out so much better. I even went to the trouble of buying a new square cake pan (I needed one anyway) just so I could conquer this loaf.  

Now, the original recipe is ripped out of an old Woolies' mag - so naturally it mentions their products.  Sadly for me their pre-prepared tray of spiced pumpkin and sweet potato with maple butter didn't exist in our local Woolies, or the known Universe I imagine. But guess what I did find this weekend?  Yay, already peeled and diced pumpkin chunks in the fresh veggie section AND frozen ones too.

yep that's them in the tray    

Phew what a relief.  So now I just had to guess the quantity of maple syrup, butter and spices.  First time around, Mr P. said "where's the maple syrup?" so I upped it plus added more of the butter and spices.  I also decided to add a bit of baking powder as it is such a heavy mix, and I fried the bacon separately rather than bake it with the pumpkin and onion.    

ready for the oven - 190C for 35-40 minutes  

Makes 1 loaf:


400g. of pumpkin (after peeling), diced

3 tbs maple syrup

2 tbs butter

1/4 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp cinnamon (or spice of your choice)

1 small brown onion (c. 75g. after peeling), finely diced 

2 tsp thyme leaves

5 rashers (c. 110g.) of shortcut bacon, chopped

1 dessertspoon olive oil for frying the bacon

2 cups self-raising flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup polenta

2 tbs poppy seeds (20g.)

80g. butter, chopped

2/3 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup tasty cheese, grated


Place the pumpkin, maple syrup, butter and spices on a baking tray

Add the onion and thyme to the tray

Toss everything together

Bake at 190C for 35-40 minutes till golden and tender

Cool slightly and give it a rough mash

Fry the bacon in the oil (while the veg. is baking) for 5-10 minutes

In a large mixing bowl, tip in the flour, baking powder, polenta and poppy seeds and whisk well

Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips till crumb-like

Stir in the buttermilk and half a cup of the grated cheese - this will take a few minutes as the mix is very heavy and stiff

Add the mashed veg. and the bacon, season well with salt and pepper and give it a good stir

Grease and line either a loaf tin or a square 20cm. baking tin with baking paper

Dollop the mixture into the tin, spread it evenly and top with the other 1/4 cup cheese

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 220C till the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean. You may need to bake for a few more minutes if using a loaf tin as it is a dense mix and will take time to cook thru

Let it rest for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack

Serve slices thickly spread with butter


Make sure you check thoroughly with the skewer; my original loaf seemed done but was actually a doughy mess inside

If you want the pumpkin to cook faster, turn it up to 220C for a few minutes less 

Mr P. suggested I use 1/2 tsp baking powder rather than 1/4; give it a try if you want a slightly more risen loaf

Try it with half orange sweet potato instead of all pumpkin for a change

You may think I'm a bit crazy but I actually weighed the onion and bacon.  I find it a bit annoying when a recipe blithely states to use a small onion, so I checked it out online and found that the USDA says a small onion is 75g. peeled - you're welcome!

whisk the dry ingredients together   

ready to rub in the butter chunks  

add the grated cheese to the mix after rubbing in the butter   

pour in the buttermilk  

you can see how dense the mix is here 

add the veg. and bacon, stir in and season well      

flatten it out evenly in the tin  

scatter on the cheese and bake at 220C for 25-30 minutes    

golden and crispy on top   

eat it warm with lots of butter    

my butternut pumpkin doodle

BTW this is my 400th post since I started blogging 3 years ago. Who knew how many friends I would make virtually and in real life, and how much knowledge and fun would arise from it? 

Thanks everyone!


  1. This looks really good! And hehe I've given up on cookbooks after so many fails! :P

    1. At least you can rely on the Women's Weekly!:)

  2. This one's on my list. I have pumpkins coming out of my ears at the moment!

    1. It is a really nice loaf but very dense. You just have to make sure it is completely baked thru.

  3. I'm so glad you published this Sherry, I saw you mention it on social media and it sounds right up my alley. Also glad you had a few goes at it to smooth out the problems. Yum!

    1. Yes surprising that some recipes just don't work as is.


I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comment and I will reply as soon as I can. If you have problems commenting, please try without your WordPress profile. You can try Anonymous (add your name in the text) or your Google account if you have one.