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Pumpkin, fennel and olive ring loaf

Recipe for pumpkin, fennel and olive ring loaf.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking plus cooling, proving
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Pumpkin, fennel and olive ring loaf
Serve this warm from the oven as on a cold winter's day for a delicious teatime snack. You can use any pumpkin you like here, but we've chosen butternut because it caramelises well when roasting, making for extra flavour.


  • 250 gm peeled Kent (Jap) pumpkin cut into 2cm dice
  • 2 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, plus extra to garnish
  • 330 gm bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ¾ tsp dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 150 gm coarsely chopped pitted Sicilian green olives
  • To serve: butter


  • 1
    Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Toss pumpkin in a bowl with grapeseed oil to coat, then transfer to hot pan and fry, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelised (5-7 minutes). Add fennel seeds and stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Season to taste and set aside to cool (15-20 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar and yeast in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix to just combine. Add olive oil, 250ml water and ½ tsp salt, mix until a soft dough forms, then set aside covered until doubled in size (30 minutes).
  • 3
    Fold pumpkin and olives loosely through dough with your hands, knocking it back at the same time, then turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a rough 45cm long cylinder. Transfer to a sheet of baking paper, bring ends together, overlapping a little, and press to seal. Set aside uncovered until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  • 4
    Preheat oven to 250C. Brush loaf lightly with olive oil and scatter with fennel seeds. Spray oven with water before placing bread in. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 180C and bake, turning tray once, until golden and crusty (10-15 minutes). Cool briefly on a wire rack (5 minutes), then serve with butter. This loaf is best eaten on the day it's made.


Drink Suggestion: Cloudy wheat beer. Drink suggestion by Max Allen