Butternut Squash Bread

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This is what I would call a miracle bread.

After mixing up the ingredients and turning the batter into the loaf pan, I realized I had minorly contaminated my hands with batter. Too lazy to wash my hands before placing the bread in the oven, I grasped the edges of the pan with my two pinkie fingers and gingerly, yet speedily walked over to the ajar oven door. I must have moved too hastily because the pan slipped out from under my pinkie fingers, did a full somersault in the air, and landed with a thump on the hardwood floor.

Cringing, I glanced downward, peeking at what should have been a complete mess of splattered orange batter, but instead saw a completely in-tact pan filled with every original speck of batter. After about a minute of staring at the bread on the floor and finally registering the fact that I hadn’t ruined my butternut squash loaf, I scooped it up, placed it in the oven, set the timer, and patiently waited for the results of this miracle loaf of bread.

And it just so happened that this bread was meant to be baked because both its rich squash flavor and light, moist texture were thoroughly relished!

Butternut Squash Bread 

Yield: one 9×5 inch loaf

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed, cooked butternut squash (equivalent to roughly the bottom half (part with seeds) of 1 medium squash)

1/3 cup (5 1/3 TBP) salted butter, softened

scant 1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup each of nuts and raisins are optional, I didn’t add either

Directions:

1. Peel, seed, and cube bottom half of the butternut squash. Place cubes in a pot of boiling water and boil for about 15 minutes or until soft and tender when poked with a fork. Then mash until you obtain 1 cup.

2. Beat butter, add the honey, and beat until creamy. Add eggs and squash. Beat again until well-combined.

3. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually beat into squash mixture. Stir in nuts and/or raisins if using. Note: Batter will be thick and sticky; at first it looks like there’s too much flour, but it will eventually become mixed in.

4. Pour batter into a buttered 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, rotate, then bake for another 15 minutes, cover with tin foil (with hole in center where underbaked) and bake about 5 to 7 more minutes. Note: You may have to experiment with baking times and when to cover the bread. Cover if you think the edges are done, but not the center. Just keep testing it with toothpicks; when it comes out with a few moist crumbs, the bread is done.

5. Let loaf cool for 10-15 minutes and then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

Adapted a lot from Café Brenda’s “Pumpkin Bread” 

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