A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: glaze

I’m getting quite into my autumnal baking, so I decided to try this bread flavoured with the increasingly popular spiced pumpkin. As I learnt, plain pumpkin doesn’t have much of a flavour but it does give this bread a lovely colour, and add moisture. As it’s an American recipe (upcoming stereotype warning), it’s incredibly sweet. I’ve dialled down the sweetness in the recipe below, but you can find the original here. The result is very similar to a cinnamon roll, with an added kick from the glaze if you use it. If I make this again, and I definitely will if I see pumpkin on sale, I would add some pecans because nuts make everything better. Everything.


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2tsp (1 sachet) instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup (half a tin) pumpkin puree*
  • 1/4 cup sugar (granulated is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups strong white flour

For the spiced sugar

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter

For the glaze

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp rum (replace with more milk if you want to make this  non-alcoholic)

*Yes, I used tinned pumpkin. There was no way I was going to mess around with a pumpkin myself, and I had some left over to make another autumnal recipe. It does look funny, though.


1. Brown 2tbsp butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Browned butter seems to be very fashionable in America at the moment. You allow the butter to melt and turn frothy…

…then watch carefully as the milk solids become golden brown. Don’t take your eyes off the pan at this stage as the butter can very quickly blacken and burn. This is what you want it to look like


2. Remove pan from heat and gently add milk. Return to the hob and heat through.

3. Allow to cool until just warm. Add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar, and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

4. Add the pumpkin, salt and 1 cup flour. Stir until combined.

5. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until you have a slightly sticky dough.

6. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. It will still be a little sticky, try not to add too much flour.

7. Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl. I put mine back in the saucepan to save on washing up.

8. Leave to rise for 60-90mins, until doubled in size.

9. While the dough is rising, make the cinnamon sugar that will flavour the bread and create the tearability of the loaf.
Brown another 2tbsp butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well, making sure the sugar absorbs the butter evenly.

10. Grease your 9×5 loaf tin and set aside.
11. Once the dough has risen, return to a lightly floured surface and roll out to a rectangle that is 20x12ins.

12. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Take some time over it, pressing the sugar into the surface of the dough evenly.

13. Slice the dough vertically (as pictured) into six even strips. Try to make each strip just slightly narrower than the width of your loaf tin.
14. Stack the strips on top of each other.

15. Cut into six even squares and stack into the loaf tin vertically. You may need to squish them down so they all fit.

16. Cover and leave to rest for 30-45mins.
17. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
18. Bake your risen loaf for 30-40mins. The top will be a deep golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, before removing to a wire rack.

19. Prepare the glaze. Heat the butter, milk and brown sugar in a small saucepan. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove from the hob and stir in the rum and icing sugar. Pour over the loaf while it’s still warm.


I’ve had a bag of polenta in the cupboard since getting overexcited watching Gordon Ramsay, deciding that polenta was going to be my new favourite thing, and realising that I’m not that fond of polenta. While trolling for food porn one night, I happened across a couple of sexy little recipes for polenta cake. Polenta gives the cake a very different texture, quite grainy. While I liked the orangeyness of this recipe, next time I would probably substitute the polenta for ground almonds.



  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g (golden) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 140g polenta
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • zest and juice of 2 oranges (any citrus fruit will work)
  • 100g (golden) caster sugar (for the glaze)

Makes a 22cm loaf or 23cm round cake.


1. Preheat oven to 160C (140 fan). Grease and line your cake tin.

2. Zest and juice your oranges. It’s a good idea to juice into a measuring jug to make it easier to reserve 100ml of juice for the glaze.

3. Cream butter and sugar until light.

4. Add eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated.

5. Add all the dry ingredients and mix, then add the zest and juice, reserving 100ml of juice.


6. Transfer mixture to your prepared tin. Smooth the top and bake for 45mins to an hour, until cake passes the knife test.

7. While the cake is baking, combine the icing sugar with the juice you saved in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.

8. Once your cake is done, remove from the tin to cool slightly, for perhaps 10mins. Take off any baking parchment you used.


9. Put the cake back into the tin and pour over the delicious orange glaze. It will absorb better when the cake is warm. Leave for a few minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely.

This cake freezes well, glaze and all. Wrap slices in clingfilm, then freeze in a plastic container.