Perfect for fall, this easy Sourdough Pumpkin Soda Bread has added nutrition from protein and pumpkin puree and is studded with raisins. Slightly sweet with molasses, adding a deep caramel-liquorice flavour, the stunning colour will light up your mornings or teatime. You can bake one large loaf or 8 cute small ones, making this a very pretty treat for guests and super quick to prepare.
Why You Want To Make This
Have you ever had soda bread and weren’t impressed by its crumbly dry texture and sometime strange aftertaste from the soda? This is your chance to fall in love with it. Just as I did.
It was so good, I made it twice in a week. Hence one large loaf and 8 small in the pictures.
Adding sourdough to soda bread sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? After all there is soda! But trust me here: It adds a gentle tang to your soda bread and makes it slightly less crumbly, softer, and moister. Not to mention the health benefits it adds. You don’t need a long rise here, as we are just using discard. But if you want, you can prepare it in the evening, leave it in the fridge overnight. Then bake it in the morning, which will improve both flavour and structure.
Don’t add the soda until just before baking, since it will lose its dough raising properties if left for too long.
Pumpkin Puree is hard to find in Ireland I admit. I got mine at an online American Food shop and it was so worth it!
It lends a gentle sweetness to the Sourdough Soda Bread and adds moisture, so you have a slightly more pillowy structure than usual in this type of bread. Not to mention the stunning orange colour, that just makes you want to light your pumpkin spice candles and have this with a nice cup of tea. Or coffee.
A rather unusual ingredient in soda bread, but I try to add protein wherever I can, as I found I’m eating way too little if I don’t watch my intake.
It replaces part of the white flour, which is always a plus and adds protein instead.
I’m using MyProtein Cinnamon Danish here (Neither sponsored nor affiliated), as the cinnamon goes so well with the pumpkin.
A Note on Protein Powder:
I have tried several in the last year, starting with vegan and was nearly put off protein powders forever, it tasted so horrible. The weird chalky texture ruined everything it came into contact with, so I had to throw it out.
Being lactose intolerant when it comes to any unfermented milk products, I was a bit sceptical, if I could use whey protein, but it turned out it not only tastes much better, but my body had no complaints whatsoever.
Yet, the first few I tried were only marginally better than the vegan stuff, still having a strange aftertaste, the sweetener clearly noticeable and a floury texture.
I was about to give up and only try and sneak them into smoothies, which seemed the only palatable option at that point (and I’m not a fan of smoothies unfortunately, with it being always cold in Ireland). Enter MyProtein. Ordering from them was a last ditch effort, to find a protein powder I could actually drink as shake and boy was I in for a surprise!
I had gotten their Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn special edition and the first sniff was already promising. Once I tried that super creamy, buttery, sweet tasting shake, reminding me of really good vanilla custard, I was hooked. And lots of recipes to make with this popped into my mind.
This protein powder is not something you try to hide in whatever you are making, but rather an ingredient that elevates your food. Use it in the right ratio (in baked goods you can replace for example ¼ of the flour with it, while saving on sugar too) and you have a real treat.
To prevent any lumps, make sure to pre-mix with wet ingredients and it’s an amazing addition to many sweet recipes.
Substitution for protein powder
You could replace it 1:1 with flour if you don’t want or have it, but it also adds sweetness to the dough, so you might want to compensate by adding a bit of sugar.
Soda Bread can be made with any flour. I’m using 2 cups plain white and 1.5 cups fine whole wheat flour here, to add some nutty flavour and fibre, but still get a nice, soft dough that lets the bright orange from the pumpkin shine through.
You could use bread flour, but soda bread doesn’t really need the gluten, as it’s supposed to have a slightly more cake-like structure. Though I found it can benefit from being left in the fridge overnight, to gain a bit of structure and depth of flavour.
This is essential for the soda to react, as it needs some type of acid to develop its raising properties. It also adds a delicious tang to the dough, which can be a bit bland if made without buttermilk.
Baking powder and soda
A mix of baking powder and soda means you don’t run the risk of having a strange….how do I say it politely…ah, yes, I don’t: Fishy taste. Apologies to the Irish people who are proud of their soda bread. But that’s really what keeps putting me off it the most. The weird flavour and smell you get from just soda to help raise your bread. And then I’m supposed to put jam on it? *shivers*
Using a mix here neutralises that risk and gives you a really lovely raise and structure.
The butter added here isn’t traditional either, but again adds moisture and a gentle chewiness that traditional soda breads are lacking.
My first soda bread with molasses and raisins many years ago was a revelation. Suddenly there was so much flavour in what I often perceived as basically non-sweetened cake!
Molasses, with its complex flavour profile and deep, almost liquorice sweetness, balanced the gentle pumpkin sweetness and plays exceptionally well with our next ingredient
I know, this one is controversial, and keep hearing people hate raisins nearly as much as Marmite. I love both. You can leave them out of course, but the little juicy bites really add excitement to this fall soda bread and go so well with the pumpkin and molasses. Give them a chance!
Looking at my ingredients picture, I clearly forgot to add this in the photo, but I assure you, it’s in the bread. I’m just slightly scatter-brained. I’m clearly getting old.
Again, being in Ireland makes getting pumpkin spice a challenge. But thankfully you can very easily mix it yourself. It’s a base of 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8th tsp clove, ¼ tsp allspice and ¼ tsp nutmeg.
I made a larger amount recently, to keep in my spice cupboard, as I got a bit obsessed with pumpkin recipes.
Sourdough Soda Bread is as easy as it gets really. 15min and your bread can be in the oven. Which makes this the ideal one for short notice guests or “I really want bread but don’t want to go to the shops”. Better tasting too I have to add.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Mix the protein powder with the wet ingredients
Since I have my Nutribullet, I got into the habit of mixing my wet ingredients and protein powder in it, as it’s just so easy. But you can use a blender, a hand mixer or simply a whisk and elbow grease and it will be fine.
If using a Nutribullet or similar blender, you can also add the butter here, as it will save you working it into the flour later.
Add your pumpkin puree, buttermilk, sourdough discard and protein powder to your blender or bowl and thoroughly mix, until you have a creamy and delicious looking orange cream without any lumps.
Mix the wet into the dry
If you are preparing this in the evening, leave out the baking soda and powder, to add it right before baking, as it will lose its effectiveness overnight.
For baking straight away, pre-heat your oven now to 175°C (350°F).
Line a baking try with parchment or grease your mini bread tins with melted butter. Flour them lightly, so you’ll have an easy time getting out the mini loafs later.
If you plan to bake the Sourdough Pumpkin Soda Bread straight away, mix baking soda and powder with the flour. Add the spices, salt, soft butter, the creamy protein-pumpkin mix, and raisins, giving it a stir with a wooden spoon, to incorporate it all.
Now, with wet hands, as the dough will be very sticky, give it a quick knead, to make sure no flour lumps remain.
Prepare the dough depending on your baking method:
Shape your dough into one large loaf. It’ll look a bit rough, which is what we are going for, as those dough spikes that are standing up now make the most deliciously crunchy crust later.
With a sharp knife, cut about 1in deep across the loaf in a cross pattern, so you get 6-8 triangle shaped sections. This will help the bread rise and make it easier to divide it later, as soda bread can be a bit crumbly to cut.
For mini loafs, divide the dough equally into 8 mini loafs in your tin. With a sharp knife, cut a slit down the length of the loafs, to help them rise and have them look like bread.
Now you can sprinkle it with a bit of brown cinnamon sugar if you like. I found the caramelised sugar really improves the flavour and crunch, so I recommend it. Just mix 1 tbsp demerara sugar with ½ tsp cinnamon and sprinkle over the bread.
For a large loaf, bake 45-50 minutes, rotating once at around 20min, if your oven bakes unevenly.
You can test for doneness by either checking of your loaf is at 100°C (200°F) in the centre with a thermometer or tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow and is nicely golden brown, your Sourdough Soda Bread with Pumpkin and Protein is done.
For mini loafs, bake around 20-23 minutes, rotating at about 10min, if your oven bakes unevenly. Check the doneness as above. Alternatively insert a wooden skewer in the middle. If it comes out clean without sticky crumbs, your Mini Sourdough Soda Breads are done.
Let the bread cool a bit, otherwise it might be sticking to your knife.
Enjoy with cold butter and/or jam. I particularly loved it with apricot jam.
Preparing this the evening before (adding soda and baking powder right before baking) makes this an excellent choice for meal prep.
After baking, due to the relatively high moisture content, this lasts about 3 days in your bread tin and about 5 days in the fridge.
Freeze and Reheat
When baked, you can freeze half the loaf or the mini loafs. I find the mini loafs particularly perfect, as you can grab as many as you need from your freezer and just quickly heat them in air fryer or oven for a few minutes and you’ll have fresh Sourdough Pumpkin Soda Bread with Protein any time you want.
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?
If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.
Sourdough Pumpkin Soda Bread with Protein
- 1 cup sourdough discard
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup protein powder. Vanilla or cinnamon flavour are ideal
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 3 tbsp soft not melted butter
- 2 cups plain white flour
- 1 ½ cups fine whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice or a mix of 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8th tsp clove, ¼ tsp allspice and ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup raisins
Optional for sprinkling:
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Prepare Wet Ingredients:
- If you have a Nutribullet or similar blender, use it for this step. Otherwise, you can use a blender, hand mixer, or a whisk.
- Combine pumpkin puree, buttermilk, sourdough discard, protein powder, and molasses in a blender or mixing bowl. Blend or mix thoroughly until you achieve a creamy and lump-free orange mixture. If using a blender, you can add the soft butter at this stage to incorporate it into the mixture.
Mix Wet into Dry Ingredients:
- If you plan to bake immediately, proceed to preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
- In a separate bowl, combine the white flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and a pinch of salt. Add the soft butter, the creamy protein-pumpkin mixture, and raisins to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate everything. The dough will be sticky. Using wet hands, quickly knead the dough to ensure there are no remaining flour lumps.
Prepare the Dough:
- Depending on your preferred baking method, shape the dough accordingly.
For a large loaf:
- Shape the dough into one large, rough loaf. The textured surface will create a deliciously crunchy crust. Use a sharp knife to make a 1-inch deep cross pattern on the top, dividing the loaf into 6-8 triangle-shaped sections. This helps the bread rise and facilitates easier dividing later.
For mini loafs:
- Divide the dough equally into 8 portions and place them in your mini bread tins. Use a sharp knife to cut a slit down the length of each mini loaf to assist in rising and for a decorative touch.
- Sprinkle a mixture of 1 tbsp demerara sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon over the dough. This caramelized sugar adds flavor and crunch to the bread.
For a large loaf:
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating the loaf once around the 20-minute mark if your oven heats unevenly. Check for doneness by either inserting a thermometer into the center (it should read 100°C or 200°F) or tapping the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow and is golden brown, it's done.
For mini loafs:
- Bake for around 20-23 minutes, rotating the tins at about 10 minutes if necessary. Check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center of a mini loaf. If it comes out clean without sticky crumbs, the mini sourdough soda breads are done.
- Allow the bread to cool for a while before slicing and serving. Enjoy your homemade SSourdough Pumpkin Soda Bread with Protein!
- It’s amazing with cold butter and jam, or just on its own with a cup of tea or coffee. Or pumpkin spice latte/Chai, if you want to go all out.
Protein: Approximately 12-14 grams per serving
Fat: Approximately 5-7 grams per serving
Carbohydrates: Approximately 75-85 grams per serving
Fiber: Approximately 6-8 grams per serving
Sugars: Approximately 20-25 grams per serving