Pumpkin-Shaped Whole Spelt Bread
This pumpkin-shaped loaf has a stunning visual effect but the making it is really easy.
I used a mix of spelt and type 1 flour but if you can't get those, just use all purpose or whole-wheat (or a mix).
250g whole spelt flour
250g type 1 flour
2g fresh yeast (or 6g dry yeast)
40ml extra virgin olive oil
Mix the 2 flours and salt in a large bowl.
Dissolve treacle and yeast in water, then add to this olive oil and mix.
Gradually start adding the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead until they are all incorporated.
Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. By then your dough will be really smooth. Cover with a clean towel and proof for 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
Preheat oven to 250C static. Flour a surface slightly and punch the dough to let it deflate, then briefly knead it to a very smooth ball. Using a strainer, dust the surface of the dough with a very generous amount of flour.
To shape the bread into a pumpkin I used a cooking twine, Measure a piece to roughly 3 times as long as the diameter of your dough and cut it. Now cut 3 more pieces of the same length.
Take one of the pieces of string and place the halfway point underneath the ball of dough and wrap it around it tying it in a knot on top of the ball.
Now rotate the ball by 90 degrees and repeat the same process with the second piece of string to create a cross on the top of the ball.
Repeat now with the third and fourth pieces of string until the ball is divided into 8 equal pieces. Tie the string at the top and cut off any excess. Make sure that you don’t pull the string too tight (you should leave a finger worth of space in between) as the dough will expand a lot in the oven.
You can additionally score the bread using a blade or knife to give it whichever pattern you like (I did leaves).
Bake in a Dutch oven with the lid on for the first 20 mins, then remove the lid and bake for another 20 mins. Remove and cool, then carefully remove the string.
Push a stick of cinnamon through the top to create the stalk.