SECRET INGREDIENT: butternut squash
Many tender breads get their pleasing texture from pureed vegetables. Here, butternut squash lends a soft texture and beautiful sunny color to the bread. Try it with hearty beef or pork stews.
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm (110°-115°F) water
- 1 cup mashed cooked butternut squash
- 1/3 cup warm (110°-115°F) milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
How to make it 50 minutes
For bread, in a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water.
In a large bowl, combine the squash, milk, butter or margarine, egg, brown sugar, and salt. Mix well.
Add the yeast mixture and 1 1/2 cups of the flour, then mix well. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes. Coat a large bowl with the oil and add the dough, turning to coat. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place (85°F) free from drafts until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Divide into thirds; roll each third into an 18-inch rope. Braid the ropes together on a greased baking sheet. Pinch ends. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For glaze, combine the egg and water in a cup and brush over the braid. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Replace the butternut squash with cooked mashed sweet potatoes. Or, for a quick switch, use canned pumpkin puree instead.