Butternut squash bread
May 24, 2010 § 5 Comments
Every family has its traditions, and often they are based around food. One of my family’s food traditions is to bake bread and give it away as gifts for the winter holidays. You name it and my mother has probably baked a bread with it – banana nut, pumpkin, orange marmalade, apple, peach…and all are amazingly delicious. They’re extremely popular gifts, along with the homemade chocolates we make each year too.
Sadly, the homemade chocolate is a secret family recipe I’m pretty sure I’d get disowned for sharing, but what I can share with you is my butternut squash bread. Now, I know it’s not Christmastime (but that has never stopped my mom from making bread, so it won’t stop me either), but I found some frozen cooked butternut squash in my freezer, and realized I could make bread with it. I was a bit worried because I wasn’t going off a recipe but some vague recollections of what ingredients my mom typically uses. Fortunately, my first attempt turned out delicious with the right ratio of dry ingredients to wet. Hooray!
Most importantly, though, this bread tastes great. It combines slightly sweet yet nutty butternut squash with brown sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup for a hint of richness and depth that really complements the squash. With a bit of stirring and a hot oven, these simple ingredients become a bread luxurious enough for a fancy brunch, but hearty enough for breakfast.
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix together three cups of all-purpose flour,
1/2 teaspoon salt
three extra-large eggs,
one cup cooked butternut squash,
one and a half cups of brown sugar (A word of warning: don’t be lazy like me and not break up the chunks of sugar. I had to break them by hand once I’d mixed everything together. A stitch in time saves nine and all that, bah humbug.),
two teaspoons vanilla extract, one tablespoon baking powder, 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil, and three tablespoons grade-A maple syrup. I suppose you could substitute grade-B, but reduce the amount by a bit because grade-B is much more maple-y than grade-A.
Stir it all around and pour the batter into a (preferably nonstick, otherwise you’re going to need to spray with some oil or line with parchment paper) loaf pan, with dimensions of 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 in.
Bake for sixty to seventy minutes, or until the top is craggy and a tester/toothpick comes out clean. You might want to start checking at the fifty-minute mark, however, because some ovens run a bit hot.
Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, and then invert the pan to release the bread. Let it cool some more on a wire rack before cutting so the bread doesn’t crumble when sliced.
The smell of this bread baking is heaven, seriously. And look at that lovely golden hue!
Okay, now that it’s cooled, slice and serve. I like it with a nice pat of butter on top.
Butternut squash bread
Makes one loaf
- Three cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Three extra-large eggs
- One cup cooked butternut squash
- One and a half cups of brown sugar
- Two teaspoons vanilla extract
- One tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- Three tablespoons grade-A maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing until just integrated after every addition.
3. Pour into a nonstick loaf pan (9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 in.), and bake until top is craggy and tester comes out clean, sixty to seventy minutes.
4. Let cool in pan for five minutes, then carefully invert loaf pan to release loaf. Set upright on a cooling rack and rest until barely warm to the touch, and serve.
Note: if you are not serving the bread immediately, let bread rest until entirely cool, then wrap in aluminum foil. It keeps at room temperature for up to three days. If you want to freeze the bread, wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and seal in a freezer bag. Bread can be frozen either as a loaf or as slices for up to six months if wrapped well. Slices reheat well on the toast setting in the toaster oven (I haven’t tried it, but I am not sure that the bread is sturdy enough for a pop-up toaster).