I’m staying up late tonight, waiting for Casey to get home from the airport, and taking advantage of a quiet house and a sleeping baby. Although it’s hard for me to focus on work and ignore the red “record” light streaming from the DVR – reminding me that Survivor is on right now.
When Casey travels, I usually don’t watch the shows we watch together – so that we can catch up together later in the week or weekend. I find things like Sex and the City marathons, or weird prison shows that scare me and make it hard to go to sleep. Sometimes I cheat and watch the best ones (New Girl, Mindy Project) because I know I’ll want to watch them again later.
Why am I talking about this? This recipe has nothing to do with television, or my ramblings. I’ve had it in my head for over a week, and I was so happy that the end result turned out just as I had imagined. A quick look through my recipe page shows that I have a serious thing for quick breads. I don’t care much for yeast, rise times, and proofing – but I can bake banana bread all day.
Don’t be fooled by the pepitas – this isn’t pumpkin bread. It is pumpkin bread’s distant cousin – butternut squash bread! Have you been to Trader Joe’s recently? You can buy a GIANT butternut squash for $1.69 each. I bought an alarming amount of them on Monday, and my pantry closet shelves are now buckling under the weight of our squash mountain. Making this bread helped ease the load a bit, although we’ve still got a lot of squash to eat!
Roasted Butternut Squash Quick Bread
Prep Time: 70 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Ingredients (1 loaf)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup maple syrup
1.5 cups butternut squash puree (about 2 cups cubes)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Carefully peel, de-seed, and chop a butternut squash into cubes. I know there are other ways to cook a squash – roasting whole or boiling – but cubing and roasting allows the squash to develop some browning, which results in so much flavor. Don’t skip this step – it’s worth the extra time!
Cube squash and toss in a bit of olive oil. Spread evenly on a sheet pan and roast for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once squash has roasted and browned, remove from oven and allow to cool for a bit. You can also pre-cook the squash the day before you are baking, if needed. Transfer two cups of roasted squash cubes to a food processor or blender.
Blend until pureed and smooth. It will look like baby food! Two cups of cubes should yield about one and a half cups of puree.
Scoop into a small bowl, and add the rest of the wet ingredients – maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk to combine, and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and spices. Then add the wet to the dry, and mix until just combined. Fold the pumpkin seeds in with a spatula.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle a handful of extra pepitas on top of the batter. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes – the top should be golden and starting to crack! (Make sure you turn the oven down if you roast your squash on the same day.)
Allow to cool to room temperature. Slice and serve!
The squash provides great flavor and moisture, keeping this loaf light and fluffy. It works well enough that no additional oil is needed!
The bread is dark and crispy on the outside, and deliciously soft on the inside – just as it should be. The pepitas offer a little bit of crunch in each bite!
This bread is delicious on it’s own, and even better when paired with a hearty winter soup. I have one particular soup in mind – that I’ll share with you tomorrow!
For the parents out there, know that it is toddler tested, and approved.
And for those with four-legged children, it also sparked quite a bit of interest from the pups. No surprise there though.
As always, enjoy!