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By Filippo Berio, City Harvest food partner

City Harvest food partner and leading olive oil brand, Filippo Berio UK, shares autumnal recipes with City Harvest this September.

“These Pumpkin Bread Rolls are perfect for making in Autumn or for Halloween as they look like tiny pumpkins! If pumpkins aren’t in season you can use butternut squash instead. This recipe was shared by Ink Sugar Spice blog.”


(Makes 8 rolls, prep time: 1hr 45 mins, cook time: 50 mins)


  • 1 small pumpkin or squash (you will only need 120g once roasted)
  • 475g strong white bread flour
  • 15g of fresh yeast or 7g of fast action dried yeast
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon of fine salt (plus extra to sprinkle over the pumpkin flesh)
  • Black pepper (4-5 turns of a pepper mill)
  • 4½ tablespoons of Filippo Berio Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil


1) Preheat oven to 180°C fan / 200 conventional / 400F. Halve the pumpkin (or squash) and scoop out the seeds. Take the skin off the pumpkin and cut into large chunks (about 3-4cm).

2) Spread the pumpkin pieces out into your roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil (about 3 tablespoons worth) and then sprinkle with some salt.

3) Bake for about 25 minutes. The pumpkin pieces should be soft when pressed with a fork or spoon. If they are not ready, leave in for another 10 minutes. While the pumpkin is cooling, gently warm the milk in a microwave or a saucepan a little and stir in the yeast. Leave this to one side while you prep the pumpkin flesh.

4) When the pumpkin flesh has cooled enough to handle (but is still warm), press the pumpkin through the sieve into the smaller bowl. It’s easiest to press it through with the back of a large spoon.

5) Make your dough, by combining the flour, salt, pepper, mashed pumpkin, olive oil and the milk/yeast mixture in a large bowl. Once combined roughly, tip out onto a clean surface and begin kneading. This dough comes together quickly because of the pumpkin flesh, so knead it for about 7-8 minutes until it starts to become smooth and glossy. Only use additional flour if you feel it’s absolutely necessary.

6) Once kneaded, oil the bowl and shape the dough into a ball. Place it into the oiled bowl seam side down and cover with a clean linen tea towel or similar. Leave to prove for about 45 minutes until risen.

7) Cut up eight pieces of butcher’s string – each about a metre long. Divide your dough in to eight equal pieces. Taking one of the pieces of dough, shape into a ball.

8) Take the string and its centre point over the middle of the ball of dough, flip the dough over and make a loop round the dough and finish with a little twist of the string – your ball of dough should have a loop over it. Make sure you come back to the middle of the ball of dough and ensure the string is not tight or cutting into the dough. Twist the string and repeat another loop at 90 degrees to the first, so the ball of dough looks like a parcel.

9) Repeat twice more, keeping the string between the first two loops – so that the ball of dough is eventually sectioned into eight wedge shapes. Tie off loosely and trim off the ends of the string.

10) Place the dough ball on a floured baking tray. Repeat with the remaining seven balls of dough. Then cover the dough and leave to rise for about 30 minutes, until the dough has started to rise through the string and created a pumpkin shape.

11) While the dough is on its last proof, turn your oven on to 220°C fan / 240F conventional / 475F. When the rolls are ready, place them in the oven and immediately turn it down to 200°C fan / 220C conventional / 400F. Bake for 20-22 minutes until risen and getting brown.

12) Leave to cool and when cold, snip off the string from the underside of the roll and pull through the threads to ensure there is no string left before serving.

Photo: Lynn Clark via Filippo Berio

Recipe Source: Filippo Berio UK


About City Harvest

Est. 2014, City Harvest London rescues nutritious surplus food from manufacturers, suppliers, producers and retailers, and delivers, for free, to 375+ London charities feeding those facing food poverty. City Harvest rescues food, people, and planet by preventing food waste, providing life-changing support to communities in every London borough through food, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from waste.

City Harvest believes in the right to food and is passionate that, in this day and age, every child should have access to fresh nutritious food to thrive and not simply survive. City Harvest is a supporter of the Free School Meals campaign. We want to ensure no child goes hungry and we encourage food partners to use our networks to make a huge difference. By delivering to food banks, community centres and school programmes we try to make sure we help fill the gaps all year round.

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City Harvest tripled in size in 2020 to meet the demand of people facing food poverty. Now distributing free food for more than 1.2 million meals a month the need continues to rise as the cost of living tightens its grip.

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