Test out your Autumnal baking skills this Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Many of you will associate Thanksgiving with Pumpkin Pie, turkey and a national holiday if you live in the United States. But what does Thanksgiving actually mean? Thanksgiving was originally a day dedicated for giving thanks and the blessing of the harvest for the year ahead. The traditional thanksgiving meal sees families and friends coming together in peace, dining and giving thanks for the year ahead. So I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to share some of my Autumnal baking tips for you to enjoy with your thanks giving meal.

Autumnal Baking 1

I’ve never been much of a baker (okay, I’m really not that good at baking). Every time I try to bake a cake, muffin or especially Banana bread, what seems like something very simple always turns out to be an epic fail! Just as I was about to hang my baking apron away, it got brought to my attention that these little mishaps may not entirely be my fault! Perhaps they’re more down to the appliance that I use as temperatures given in a recipe are generic and may not be entirely suitable for the oven that, at the time, I was using. For instance, the temperature may need to be slightly higher or lower than suggested in the recipe. So being that I’m willing to give most things a second chance, I went on Sunday afternoon to the Jamie Oliver Cookery School in Westfield west London to road test their newly refurbished kitchens equipped with the latest Hotpoint Electric oven in the hope of perfecting those baking skills.

Autumnal Baking 2
This latest Hotpoint model provides multi flow heat technology delivering even temperature throughout your oven for thorough cooking results. And being that I’m more of a beginner than a professional, here is some of my work!

Autumnal Baking 3

Autumnal Baking 4

Autumnal Baking 5

Autumnal Baking 6
Now that I may have some of your mouths watering… here is my version of the wholemeal bread recipe that I learnt on the day.

One Wholemeal Loaf Recipe


1kg of wholemeal flour
30g of fresh yeast
600/620 ml of tepid water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 beaten egg (optional to brush on dough to give bread a golden baked look).


Take a large mixing bowl, empty the flour into the bowl and create a little well in the middle where you can pour half the water into. Then add the yeast and salt and using a fork and start folding the flour into the centre.

Once all the water is mixed in, add the remaining water and follow the mixing process again until the mixture looks of a stodgy consistency.

Once the flour is fully into a dough consistency add flour to your hands remove from the mixing bowl and prepare your surface with a dusting of flour to knead the dough.
Begin kneading the dough for 5 minutes, slightly longer if required until you achieve an elastic dough-like consistency.

Place the dough back in the mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave to sit for 30 mins.
Once the dough has doubled in size, place back on your flat surface and beat the air out of it by hitting it with your hands/fists and shape or flavour the bread to be as desired. (If making a loaf, you can add things like nuts, herbs, caramelised onions, etc).

Place on a baking tray or bread loaf tin and leave to rest for a further 30 mins.
It’s at this point that it’s time to preheat your oven to 200 Celsius (gas mark 6).

Brushing your dough with some egg yolk will give it that golden brown look.

Then add your dough into the oven for 25/ 30 minutes, longer if required.

Once cooked, leave on a wire rack to cool.

Autumnal Baking 7

Top tip: Want to really impress your guests this thanksgiving with more than just your fresh bread? Then why not carve out that pumpkin and fill it with some delicious fondue!

Mrs J xx

I was a guest of Hotpoint & Currys PC World.

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