It is not St. Patrick’s Day, but that doesn’t mean we cannot have soda bread. Although Irish Soda Bread is highly associated to St Patrick’s Day, I like making this bread anytime of the year. This is one of those easy No Knead bread that comes to quick and ready when you need it. If you are looking for a quick, delicious, crowd pleaser bread recipe for an emergency dinner, I got you covered with this Pumpkin Soda Bread.
Why You would love this Soda Bread
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- It comes in about 1 hour, not too bad for a homemade bread
- This is a NO knead, no rise, no waiting bread
- The bread is delicious, crusty shell but soft and moist center
- Goes well with soup and stew
What are the ingredients to make a No Knead Pumpkin Soda Bread?
- All-purpose Flour – Measure properly with a spoon level technique (scoop the flour then use the back of the spoon to level the top of the measuring cup)
- Sugar – To add sweetness
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – Since this is a no knead bread, the rising of the dough will depend on the leavening agents as opposed to a yeast.
- Salt – Do not forget this, a little salt goes along way and makes a difference in the taste
- Butter – This recipe uses very little amount of butter, just enough to give it the nice buttery taste but not too much
- Egg – Use cold egg straight from the refrigerator
- Buttermilk – Use cold Butter straight from the refrigerator. This recipes uses a small amount so no need to buy an entire box just for the recipe. Make your own by just adding 1 tsp lemon juice or white unflavored vinegar to the regular milk. Wait for 5 minutes until it curdles.
- Pumpkin Pie Filling – Pumpkin Pie filling already have fall spices mix into it so I did not add anything more. If you prefer a strong fall spices, you can add all spice or nutmeg about 1/8 – 1/4 tsp depending on how strong you like it
- Fall Spices (Cinnamon, All-Spice, Nutmeg etc) – If you prefer a strong fall spice flavor, you can add all spice or nutmeg about 1/8 – 1/4 tsp depending on how strong you like it. This bread do not have a strong fall spice flavor because that is how I like it.
How do you make No Knead Pumpkin Soda Bread?
I’m glad you ask. let me tell you how easy this comes together. This is like a dry and wet ingredients process. Start by mixing flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Grate the butter and mix with the flour mixture. I like using a large cheese grater for even butter size, you can also use a pastry cutter or cut it in small pieces and use your finger to break the butter. Then on a separate bowl or measuring cup, mix buttermilk and egg. Almost done, but not yet. Now gradually pour the wet ingredients mixture to the flour mixture. Leave about 2 tbsp and reserve it just in case you need more liquid to bind the flour mixture. Flour moisture could differ from one brand to another, as such it could sometimes slightly vary on how much liquid you need. In my case, I often end up with 1-2 tbsp more that I do not use. Mix the dough until it comes together, do not over mix. You do not need to make it smooth, as long as it comes together it is good. For a nice crusty bread, chill the dough before baking it, about 30 minutes in the freezer while you -preheat the oven. I like marking the top with an “x”, this help in the even cooking of the bread, plus it kind of look pretty with the marking. Then bake at 350F for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the cross mark is fully opened up and the top has browned.
Can I add raisins or nuts in this No Knead Soda Bread?
Definitely! You can add raisins, dried cranberry or dried apricot. Add chopped nuts like Pistachio or walnut. It is easy to play around with this recipe. If you are not feeling the pumpkin flavor, you can remove it and add orange or lemon zest instead. I left a noce in the tips section when adding dried fruits, check it out.
What to expect from a No Knead Soda Bread
This No Knead Soda Bread that is perfection (at least to me). The outer shell crusty and crunchy, the inside is soft and moist, the taste is balanced with the right sweetness and saltiness, and the amount of fall spices is quite subtle to the point that you won’t even know that there is pumpkin here If I don’t tell you. Maybe the color will give it away but it was like one of those zucchini bread wherein sometimes the zucchini is not obvious but it does certainly gives a nice texture to the bread. I was so happy when I cut it and tasted it with a generous spread of butter, it was so good! I know it’s just a bread, but it just taste so good for something that is so easy to make. I have written down few tips, take a few minutes to read it.
What is the Difference Between Pumpkin Purée and Pumpkin Pie Filling?
I have to mention this because it is very important to note the major difference of this two, as they greatly affect the taste of the muffins. Pumpkin Purée is just puréed pumpkin without any spices in it. Plain, bland and You definitely need to add Fall spices (like cinnamon, nutmeg etc) in the recipe. Pumpkin Pie Filling has already spices in it, it’s ready to use. You can still add more spices if You like a strong flavor but I always don’t add more because I prefer a subtle flavor.
Tips to successful beautiful rustic Soda Bread
- Measure baking soda properly: The main leavening agent of this bread is the baking soda. Since this is a quick bread, meaning no yeast needed, the baking soda + buttermilk is the key to having a soft crusty and rustic looking bread. Do the spoon level technique when measuring the ingredients. To much baking soda can make the bread taste acidic and can have the tendency to turn the color of your bread “greenish”, we don’t want a green looking rustic bread! SO measure well, and mix well.
- No kneading: This is your opportunity to make a lovely looking rustic bread without kneading and waiting for it to rise, so grab that chance! All this bread needs is gentle mixing and light touch just to form the dough into a disk. Don’t bother making it smooth, we want it to look rustic. The rougher it look, the better.
- Buttermilk vs. milk: Since this bread does not require yeast and long rest period, buttermilk is one of the key ingredients for the bread to have a softer texture. Since buttermilk is acidic, it will react with baking soda helping the bread to rise as it bakes in the oven. I have tried using regular milk, it was ok but it was a little bit dense as compared to using buttermilk. You don’t need to buy whole carton of buttermilk just to make this bread, you can make your own by mixing 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar. Let rest for 10-15 minutes or until it starts to curdle.
- Hot and always close oven: Always pre-heat your oven, just like making biscuits, hot oven is a must to have the puff-up and rustic looking bread. Although it is always tempting to open the oven to check the bread, avoid doing that. Closed oven all-through out the baking will create a rustic and lovely brown crust, which is totally worth the wait. Opening the oven will let the steam and heat escape and can deflate the bread.
- Use of add-on ingredients: I suggest that you soak in water and honey or maple syrup whatever dried fruits you are using before adding it to the dry ingredients. Dried fruits have a tendency to absorb moisture of the liquid when added into the mixture. This means that it will compete with the dry ingredients and it could absorb the moisture that is supposed to be for the flour, resulting to a dry soda dough. Soaking it in water will soften the dried fruits and at the same time will make it moist even when it is baked.
There you go, few tips to remember. Let’s put it to use and let’s get started!
- 1 cup All-purpose Flour
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp cold Butter – cut into cubes
- 1 Egg – refrigerated
- 1/4 cup cold Buttermilk (You make can make your own buttermilk by mixing 1/4 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until it curdles)
- 2 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line small cookie sheet with parchment paper. If using a cast iron pan, put the cast iron pan inside the oven while you are pre-heating it.
- Mix dry ingredients: In a medium size bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter with large cheese grater or a fork (or with your fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Mix wet ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk pumpkin pie filling, buttermilk and beaten egg.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients: Gradually pour the wet ingredients mixture to the flour mixture. Leave about 2 tbsp and reserve it just in case you need more liquid to bind the flour mixture. Flour moisture could differ from one brand to another, as such it could sometimes slightly vary on how much liquid you need. In my case, I often end up with 1-2 tbsp more that I do not use. Mix the dough until it comes together, do not over mix. You do not need to make it smooth, as long as it comes together it is good set it aside for brushing top of the bread.
- Shape the bread: Transfer in a floured surface and using your hands, form it into a disk about 6-inch diameter. DO NOT knead, just gather the dough together to form it. You don’t also need to make the surface smooth, uneven surface if fine. It will look more rustic once baked.
- Mark the bread: Transfer into cookie sheet or cast iron pan. With a sharp knife, cut a 1/4-inch deep cross on top of the dough.
- Chill: Chill the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will allow the dough to relax and it also helps in producing a nice crusty top.
- Brush top with leftover buttermilk mixture, just whatever you can get from what is left.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until dough is just cooked through and the top is a light golden brown and the cross mark has opened wide. Please watch the baking time closely as this bread brown quite quick then normal soda bread. Check at about 18 minutes and monitor from there on. Oven settings differ from one another so a slight oven temperature setting could make or bread your soda bread.
Serves 2 – 3
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