Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spiced butternut squash bread

This spiced butternut squash bread tastes just like a traditional pumpkin bread - it's chock full of fall spices and contains no butter or oil!


You've all heard of pumpkin bread, but have you tried a butternut squash bread? Don't run away! This funky gourd bakes up just like its pumpkin counterpart and contains similar fall spices - cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. In fact, my neighbors said that their families thought that this was a traditional pumpkin bread. Score!

One thing I learned about handling butternut squash is that you may need to wear gloves when cutting into the gourd. After I finished dicing the squash, the palms of both of my hands got all white and flaky. I thought that maybe there was a sticky glue-like residue on my hands, so I tried scrubbing it off to no avail.

After some internet research, I found out that the butternut squash has a defense mechanism much like humans. Once the squash gets cut, the gourd exudes a substance that dries out the injured area and tries to create a scab. If the squash liquid gets on your hands (or other parts of your body), it starts to dry out the skin where you made contact. Isn't that fascinating?

So there's your science lesson for the day! Be careful when handling butternut squash so your hands don't crack and get dried out like mine did. You can always roast the squash halves and then puree it if you'd rather not have chunks of squash in your bread. Just make sure you make this bread - keep one and gift the other to a friend!

Spiced butternut squash bread
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups pureed butternut squash
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generous grease two 9"x5" loaf pans (I used one loaf pan and two mini loaf pans) and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix together the sugars and applesauce until smooth. Add the eggs and the butternut squash and mix well until uniform.

Transfer the squash mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and gently fold until everything just comes together. Do not over mix.

Distribute the batter into your prepared loaf pans and bake in your preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My mini loaf pans baked for about 35 minutes and were done.

Allow the bread to cool before serving. Bread should be stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and will keep at room temperature for several days. It can also be frozen and thawed.

Yield: About two 9"x5" loaves

Source: Adapted from Epicurious.com

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