Butternut Bread

Several weeks ago we predicted that we were at the end of butternut squash. Since then, you have had it several more times, the butternut squash that keeps on coming. This week, here it is again, but I guarantee, it really is the last time! At our Full Belly crop-planning meeting, we all agreed that YES, there was a bit too much butternut this year. In one of our newsletters we suggested that you can freeze butternut squash for later use. The easiest way to do this is to peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it into quarters, and cook it in the oven. A bit of water in the baking pan will help, and you can chop or mash it up before freezing. That's exactly what I did to the last enormous butternut squash that I got in my box -- I froze it in two portions, thinking that it would be ready for soup or baking later in the year. However, I have also discovered the following recipe for pumpkin bread, and it is so good, that all of the frozen butternut squash that I thoughtfully put away for a later date, has already been retrieved from the freezer and used up to make pumpkin (butternut) bread. The following recipe is an adaptation from Ruth Reichl's Pumpkin Apple Bread, in "The Gourmet Cookbook," Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
ingredients

Bread ingredients

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon (or a little less) salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

15 ounces of mashed butternut squash

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups brown sugar

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup of raisins

Topping ingredients

3 tablespoons flour

5/8 cup (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

instructions

Topping:  Blend together the topping ingredients in a small bowl with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Set aside.

Bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice into a medium bowl.  Whisk together the pumpkin, oil, sugar and eggs in a large bowl.  Add the flour mixture, stirring until well combined.  Fold in the raisins.

Divide the batter between the buttered loaf pans.  Sprinkle half of the topping evenly over each loaf.  Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.

Cool the loaves in the pan on a rack, then turn them out to cool completely.

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