Butternut squash is the gilded jewel of Nature. Fantastic nutritional factor. (good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese.) Other than greens (see my first post to get my opinion of greens), I struggle to think of a vegetable that is tastier than a B squash. Divine!
I’ve been playing with a few different bread combinations lately and came up with a Thyme Butternut Squash bread recipe. I was extremely skeptical but it worked, pretty well actually.
Thyme Butternut Squash Bread
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups of butternut squash puree
3 ½ - 4 cups bread flour
3 Thyme sprigs
Cut a small butternut squash in half, deseed, and roast in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Cool. Once cool scrap squash meat and place in a bowl. Mash with a spoon to smooth the mixture.
In a large bowl add yeast, sugar, and water. Let’s stand for a few minutes. Add butternut squash puree. Add flour, 1 cup at a time mixing after each cup, reserving the last ½ cup. With the first cup of flour I like to make ‘flour soup’. This helps to make smooth dough along with helping the gluten to develop creating chewier dough. I say chewier as a positive quality because chewier bread to me has mush more character than other bread. Now, this bread isn’t chewy by any stretch but I’ll encourage gluten development any day.
Let bread rise for at least an hour and half. If you have lots of time punch the dough down after an hour and a half and let it rise again. Again, this helps to develop character. But if you don’t have the extra time, don’t worry it’ll still be good. Trust me.
After you let the dough rise in the bowl, throw it on a cutting board and cut into eight equal portions. I like to do this by cutting it in half and then each section in half until I get the eight pieces. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan and brush it with olive oil. Place your pretty eight little pieces on it to rise for another 15 minutes. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.