Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Squash Bread

I made this bread back in November and it turned out surprisingly good. I used homemade pureed banana squash and freshly ground whole wheat white flour. Since I don't have my own flour grinder at the moment, my mother-in-law was kind enough to left me use hers. It was quite the experience to grind my very own fresh flour! I can't wait until Santa Clause brings me my own flour grinder. Yippee!!

The only drawback to this bread was that the whole wheat flour made the bread very dense. Next time I make this I will probably adjust the flour and use either bread flour only or 1/2 whole wheat and half all-purpose flour.


Winter Squash Bread

1 ½ cups warm water (100°F)
1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup winter squash or pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
½ cup yellow cornmeal, plus additional for sprinkling
5 ½ to 6 cups bread flour (optional: Instead of bread flour, combine 3 cups whole wheat and 3 cups all-purpose flour)
Olive oil for bowl and baking sheet

1. In a large bowl, add warm water and sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of brown sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

2. With a whisk, beat eggs and squash puree into the yeast mixture. Mix in remaining brown sugar, salt, cornmeal, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is soft and tacky. Add more flour if necessary. Oil a bowl and add the dough, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Gently deflate the dough. You can either bake the bread right away, or put it away in the fridge over night to allow the dough to ferment and develop flavor. If you refrigerate over night, be sure to let the dough sit at room temperature for 4 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly oil a bread pan. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Form the dough into 2 round loaves and put into pan. Cover loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled. Dust tops of the loaves with flour.

5. Reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack.

To Make Squash Puree

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Use pumpkin or any kind of squash. Cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds. Save seeds for roasting. Put squash in a baking dish, cut-side up. Brush with butter, season with salt and pepper.

2. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until tender.

3. Scoop out flesh and mash or puree until smooth in a food processor.

4. Press puree through a fine mesh.

Source: Unknown.

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