Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Edible Holiday Gifts Part II: Squash Harvest Bread



These squash loaves are one of my favorite fall and winter treats. They are super hearty from the chopped nuts and seeds, perfectly spiced and stay most and delicious for days on the counter. This recipe makes two, nice sized loaves which makes it perfect for gift giving. I like to bring one along to holiday parties as a hostess gift, so my generous friends don't have to worry about cooking breakfast for themselves the next morning. This recipe also bakes up beautifully into paper baking molds, which makes it an even cuter gift to give (I have included some resources down below).

Squash Harvest Bread
adapted from the Macrina Bakery Cookbook
yield, 2 9x5 loaves or 6-8 smaller loaves

2 cups roasted squash purée (butternut, red kuri, or kabocha work great and canned pumpkin puree is just fine here too)
1/2c walnut halves
1/2c pecan halves
1c pepitas
2t baking soda
2t baking powder
3 1/2c flour
1/2t nutmeg
1 1/2t cinnamon
1 1/2t salt
1 1/2c light brown sugar
1 1/2c granulated sugar
1c canola oil
4 eggs
3/4c buttermilk

To Toast the Nuts and Seeds

Spread them on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake in a 375º oven for 10-15min or until they are nice and toasty. Cool the nuts completely and chop them medium/fine.

For the Loaves
Turn the oven down to 325º

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir in the chopped nuts and seeds, reserving a few tablespoons to sprinkle over the top of the loaves.
2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the oil and sugars. Mix on medium high for 4min. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the squash puree and mix for another 2 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined.
3. Alternate adding the flour (3 parts) and the buttermilk (2 parts) and stir gently to combine completely, being careful to scrape down to the bottom of the bowl.
4. Pour the batter into oiled loaf pans, filling them 2/3 full, and sprinkle with the reserved nuts. Bake large loaves for 60min, smaller loaves for 25-35min depending on size. They are done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 20min before unmolding.

Notes

- For gift giving, paper loaf pans like these can be found locally in NY at Bowery Kitchen Supply or New York Cake and Baking Supply where the service is pretty surly and the selection is unbeatable. They can also be found at many specialty cook shops like Sur la Table.
- Here are some online resources make sure to search for "paper baking molds".
- Here is a link to food52's easy peasy squash roasting technique and video.
- For 2 cups of squash puree, you'll need about a 1 lb squash

6 comments:

  1. I almost called you yesterday to ask you to give me this exact recipe! I want to bake a special present for my aunt who isn't super into sweets, this is so perfect. Oh thank you so very much.

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  2. Loving your edible gifts ... I say keep 'em coming. (What a thoughtful idea on the bread!)

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  3. I love the idea of making breakfast for the host. The next morning is something the host dreads, but with this idea...it makes waking up to a mess o.k.

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  4. My mouth is watering, I'm so hungry!!!! I think I'll try this one soon, but first I've got to get rid of the mushy bananas in my basket!

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  5. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone. I'm just stopping by random blogs today and checking them out. Also wishing you folk's a healthy and happy new years. Richard from an Amish community in Pennsylvania.

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  6. This is a wonderful recipe! Subbed the walnuts for almonds and the pepitas for sunflower seeds and added sweet potato for the squash! Quite the loaf!

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