Thursday, October 8, 2009
Guess what I've been eating a lot of?
I'm a bit nervous that I'll eat way too much winter squash this month and be sick of it by the time the late summer vegetables are gone and I'm faced with the prospect of eating butternut squash and sweet potatoes for several long, cold months. But I also feel like I've been waiting for winter squash season all year, and I am willing to risk butternut overload for mornings like this.
I woke up this morning and immediately thought BREAD. I haven't made bread in many months of Sundays. What with the summer of living on the road, to starting school and moving into a new, unfamiliar house with an extremely temperamental oven, it's no surprise that bread hasn't been first on the to-do list. But I miss it, and Julia, my sexy stand mixer, keeps making me feel guilty for using her as squash storage. Hey, sorry love, but counter space is precious and you have a really large bowl. 6 quarts to be exact. So I thought I'd make it up to her AND make the squash storage problem a bit less insane in one fell swoop. Butternut squash bread! How cool is that?
• 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
• 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
• 1 1/4 cups mashed, cooked butternut squash
• 1 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1/2 cup olive oil, canola oil, or mixture of both
• 1/3 cup honey, maple syrup, or agave
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 7 cups all-purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add squash, milk, eggs, oils, syrup and salt; mix well. Gradually add 3-1/2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Shape into three loaves; place in greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.