Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Braided Squash Loaf

Squash Bread

There came a point in our CSA membership where we found ourselves absolutely over-run with squash. And so I went hunting for recipes that required squash! I've also been wanting to try my hand at bread recipes, so this recipe was a match made in heaven--even if we had yellow summer squash instead of butternut squash.

Makes: Two loaves

1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
2 tbsp warm water
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mashed squash
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon water

DISSOLVE yeast in 2 tbsp warm water
LET STAND about 10 min until foamy

MICROWAVE milk until warm (~20 seconds)

COMBINE yeast, milk, squash, butter, 1 egg, brown sugar, butter, salt, and 2 cups of the flour in large bowl
STIR well to combine
ADD 1/2 cup of flour
BEAT well
ADD final 1/2 cup of flour
BEAT well

KNEAD dough (either by hand or with dough hook attachment) until smooth and elastic

SPRAY large bowl with cooking spray
MOVE dough to large bowl and lightly spray the top of the dough with cooking spray
COVER with a damp cloth
LET RISE until doubled in volume (about 1 hr)

TURN dough out onto a floured surface
KNEAD dough briefly, just enough to deflate it
DIVIDE into six equal pieces
ROLL each piece into a rope about 18 inches long
BRAID ropes together in sets of three

LIGHTLY grease baking sheet
PLACE loaves on baking sheet
LET RISE for about 30 minutes

BEAT together remaining egg and 1 tbsp of water in a small bowl
UNCOVER loaves
BRUSH with egg mixture to ensure a nice brown crust
BAKE 20-25 minutes



My Thoughts
1. Despite my fond wishes, this recipe doesn't actually use a whole lot of squash. We ended up using about 5 small summer squash to get one cup of mashed squash.

2. To get mashed squash, do exactly what you would do with potatoes--peel, boil until tender, and then mash. We didn't bother removing the seeds since they were so tiny, but for a squash with larger seeds, you would want to.

3. The flavor on these was very light and not noticeably squash-y. That may be in part because summer squash has a lighter flavor than butternut squash. I have bought a butternut squash to test this hypothesis with! : )

4. The texture of these loaves was *amazing*, everything a bread should be. However, I still found the flavor to be a bit "generic yeast bread" for my taste. My hubby thinks it was wonderful just as it was.

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