Pumpkin soda bread

It must be the time of year but pumpkin recipes are absolutely everywhere at the moment. Long popular in the US, autumnal recipes using pumpkin are becoming increasingly popular here in the UK too. Most US recipes use tinned pumpkin. I went into our local wholefoods shop to ask if they stocked it and was told in no uncertain terms that they didn't as it was "an American thing"! Well, I think they're missing a trick and I know it's not impossible to get tinned pumpkin here from places like Ocado and Wholefoods.

Still, for this recipe I used mashed butternut squash. You could easily substitute tinned pumpkin. Both kids loved this and had no idea that they were eating butternut squash.

500g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
400ml natural plain yoghurt
75g dried fruit (eg sultanas, cranberries, cherries)
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp caster sugar
165g pumpkin or squash flesh, cooked, mashed and cooled (or use tinned - see above)
50ml milk (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Cover a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, mixed spice and sugar together into a large bowl and mix well. Stir in the dried fruit before adding the pumpkin, yoghurt and honey. Stir well. If the mixture feels too dry slowly add 50ml of milk until you have a sticky dough.

Put onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for a moment. Form into a round loaf and place onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, covering the top with foil if it is starting to get too dark before the rest of the loaf is cooked. To check whether it is cooked turn it upside down and tap on the bottom. If it sounds hollow it should be cooked, but to be extra sure you could test with a thin skewer inserted in the centre.