Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe

 

I recently discovered that Austrian pumpkin seeds are much bigger and darker in colour, have more substantial flavour and are creamier in texture than regular pumpkin seeds sold in the UK. Reason enough to bake one tasty pumpkin seed bread!

Pumpkin seed bread
Pumpkin seed bread

The largeness of Austrian pumpkin seeds makes them an attractive addition to many dishes. I love adding these pumpkin seeds into sourdough breads, but they are also great for snacking, salads or homemade granola. Take a look below, they look stunning, don’t they?

Austrian pumpkin seeds from Styria
Austrian pumpkin seeds from Styria
Standard pumpkin seeds
Standard pumpkin seeds

Austrian pumpkin seeds are grown organically in Austria, in the region of Styria. The Styrian pumpkin variety are grown for their hulless seeds alone, while the pumpkin pulp is used as fertilizer on the fields.

The seeds are also made into oil and make a popular foodie gift to bring back from an Austrian visit.

Pumpkin seed bread benefits

Austrian pumpkin seeds contain many valuable nutrients, including polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin B1, B2, B6 and numerous minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium. Most notably they contain phytosterol. Several studies show that phytosterol helps with prostate and bladder conditions. 

Healthy pumpkin seed bread recipe

I use both wheat and a small amount of wholewheat flour in this pumpkin seed loaf recipe. Maize flour is added to give the bread a slightly yellow colour, a picturesque contrast to the green of the pumpkin seeds.

Sourdough bread with pumpkin seeds
Sourdough bread with pumpkin seeds

Sourdough ingredients (Day 1)

  • 50g wheat sourdough starter
  • 130g wholewheat flour
  • 50g strong white bread flour
  • 130g water

Main dough ingredients (Day 2)

  • 343g sourdough
  • 475g strong white bread flour
  • 115g maize flour
  • 11g salt
  • 345g water
  • 85g Austrian pumpkin seeds

How to make pumpkin seed bread

  1. Prepare the sourdough on day 1 by combining the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well, cover and leave to rest at room temperature for around 12 hours.
  2. On day 2, dry-roast the Austrian pumpkin seeds in a frying pan until they start to pop and smell nutty.
  3. Combine 310g of the sourdough starter (the rest goes back into the fridge for future bakes) and the main dough ingredients – with the exception of the pumpkin seeds – in a large bowl.
  4. Knead for about 10 minutes, then add the pumpkin seeds.
  5. Work in the seeds until evenly distributed.
  6. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for an hour or two until the dough has risen visibly.
  7. Punch down the dough, shape into a round, flour the surface and place face-down into a pre-floured proving basket.
  8. Preheat the oven to 220°C half an hour before baking. If you use a La Cloche baking dome, preheat this in the oven from cold.
  9. Once fully proved (after several hours in my kitchen but this will depend on the temperature in your room), turn out the bread from the proving basket onto the hot La Cloche plate.
  10. Put the La Cloche cover back on and bake for 10 minutes at 220°C, then turn down the heat to 190°C for another 40 minutes. Take off the La Cloche for the last 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Cool on a wire rack.

Powidl Recipe (Austrian Plum Preserve)

 

Quite a few Austrian sweet dishes and puddings are filled with a jam-like plum spread called Powidl and I thought it would be useful to devote a quick feature to this delicious preserve. You’ll find Powidl in my recipes for Germknödel and Mohnstrudel but it’s also used to fill Pofesen, Buchteln and Powidl-Tascherl. A delicious preserve made purely from plums, this authentic Powidl recipe doesn’t use added sugar. It’s made by simply cooking and reducing plums to a thick, spreadable consistency.

Powidl Austrian plum preserve
Powidl Austrian plum preserve

Good-quality Powidl is not readily available to buy in shops, even in Austria, so I wanted to share the recipe for making Powidl at home.

In Austria, we use Zwetschken (prunus domestica subsp. domestica) to make Powidl. You can see some photos of our Zwetschken tree at home in Austria in this post here. Without access to prunus domestica subsp. domestica, it’s best to find damsons (prunus domestica subsp. insititia) instead of the huge round plums you’ll find in the supermarkets. Either way, ensure to use very ripe and very sweet fruit for making this Powidl recipe.

Powidl
Powidl

Powidl recipe

Please note again that real Powidl isn’t made with sugar and is therefore not a ‘jam’.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll end up with 20% of the initial plum weight when making Powidl, for example 5kg of plums will cook down to 1kg of Powidl.

How to make Powidl

  • Take a quantity of Zwetschken/damsons/plums (e.g. use 2.5kg to make 500g of Powidl), halve and de-stone the fruit. Add a few de-stoned dried plums if you like. It adds an additional layer of flavour complexity to the Powidl.
  • You can add grated lemon zest, a little bit of ground cloves and/or cinnamon and some dark rum (Stroh if you are going all Austrian).
  • Bring to a boil in a suitable pot and slowly simmer on a low heat for several hours
  • Stir frequently.
  • Continue until the plums have cooked down to a dark purple or brownish pulp – a viscous paste which is spreadable i.e. it shouldn’t be too runny and not too thick.
  • Fill into jam glasses.

This authentic Powidl preserve contains the pure essence of plums and won’t taste of sugar like typical jams.

Where to buy Powidl

Real Powidl can’t be bought in supermarkets. However, I did see that Darbo Powidl sells here. I would like to add that I have never tried and tasted this product. Please also note that Powidl such as this is made with the addition of sugar.