Sometime back in October or November I had company coming, and I decided early that morning to make pumpkin bread to share. After pulling out my favorite recipe, digging the ingredients out of the pantry, and measuring the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, I realized I had a bit of a problem. There wasn’t a single can of pumpkin in my house.
Cue the panic. Both Shane & I were still in our PJs, unshowered, and not fit for heading out the the grocery store…which is a bit of a drive even on the best of days. My husband had already left for work, and would have been less than thrilled if I called him to ask that he pick up canned pumpkin and rushed it home to me.
Then I opened the fridge, and struck inspiration gold. Front and center was a bowl of leftover butternut squash from the night before.
I finished the recipe, using pureed squash in place of the canned pumpkin, and the bread was a huge hit. My friends devoured the bread later than day, and pretty much demanded the recipe. Or else.
You can use frozen pureed butternut squash in this recipe. We planted a single butternut squash plant in last summer’s garden, so I’ve been using the fresh squash we still have in cold storage.
If you’re using fresh squash, cut in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for a half hour at 350*. Turn squash over, cover, and bake about 20 to 25 minutes longer (until fork-tender).
Roughly cut the cooked squash into chunks, then puree in a food processor (add water a little at a time to bring it to a puree-like consistancy).
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients — flour (I substitute whole wheat flour for about a third of the flour the recipe calls for), sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
Add wet ingredients (water, oil, butternut squash, eggs).
Mix thoroughly to combine.
Grease & flour three 9 x 5 in. loaf pans and fill each halfway with batter.
Bake at 325* for an hour and fifteen minutes.
Let cool about five minutes in pans…
…then remove from pans, finish cooling on a rack, and enjoy!
Last week was a busy one for Shane and I. We were having friends over on two separate days, plus I was escaping for an evening to go to a La Leche League meeting. I had signed up to bring a snack to this month’s meeting, plus I wanted to have something to offer to those we invited for playdates, so Wednesday morning I pulled out my recipe again.
This time, however, there was silence as everyone tucked into the bread. No requests for the recipe. Even the kids were just picking at the bread. I cut myself a piece, tasted, and…
“This doesn’t taste anything like what it’s supposed to!? I don’t know what I did wrong!”
One of the women tried another bite, chewed quietly for a moment, hesitated, then asked cautiously, “Could you have forgotten the sugar?”
*Gulp* Remember this picture here, the one showing the mixing bowl filled with the dry ingredients? Look closely. I’m missing the granulated sugar…which would make a dramatic difference in the yumminess of this bread! So, my words of wisdom are: while baking, try to avoid being distracted by a toddler pleading “Please
!” while clutching a bin of train tracks…at least not until you’re finished measuring out your ingredients.
Thankfully, a thick slathering of cream cheese frosting
goes a long way towards saving this bread!
This recipe originally called for one 15 oz. can of pumpkin, but I substituted 2 cups of pureed butternut squash. (And it is a really tasty pumpkin bread recipe, if you’d rather try that instead).
Butternut Squash Bread
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I substituted 1 cup whole wheat flour for one cup of the all-purpose)
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cooked, pureed butternut squash
4 large eggs
* Grease and flour three 9″ x 5″ loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
* Combine dry ingredients. Add water, oil, eggs, & squash. Fill each loaf pan half full with batter.
* Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean).
Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook)
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light in fluffy. Continue beating, while slowly adding in confectioner’s sugar a half cup at a time until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Store leftover frosting in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Here’s my question for all of you: