Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baking Squash Bread



It’s that time of the month again – the deadline for the Royal Foodie Joust. The Joust was created by Jenn The Leftover Queen, founder of The Foodie Blogroll.

Last month Susan at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy (don’t you love that name?!!!) won the Joust with her Creamy Gorgonzola, Fennel and Pear Tart. It was truly beautiful and I'll bet it tasted as good as it looked.

As the winner, Susan had the honor of choosing this month’s ingredients. Her choices: acorn squash, orange, and sage. Great ingredients, huh? I’ve been playing around with them in my head and in my kitchen for a few weeks and came up with two that the family really loved.

The first is a Squash, Orange and Sage Quick Bread. I started with a recipe for pumpkin bread and then altered the ingredients to include the Joust ones and a few of my own like Craisins.

First I cut the acorn squash in half, scooped out the seeds and put it cut side down in a baking dish with about a half an inch of water. I covered it with foil and baked it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Then I scooped out the cooked squash and I was ready to begin my experiment.

The bread was moist and delicious! It didn’t even last 24 hours before it was all gobbled up. And best of all, I found a way to get the Boy to eat squash! Even after he discovered the secret ingredient, he couldn’t resist the bread.

But the recipe seemed a little too simple for the Joust. I considered it a happy accident warm up to what I really wanted to make – squash rolls. The first time I had squash rolls was at Fancy’s Farm Market in East Orleans (now East Orleans Village Marketplace) when I first moved to the Cape 23 years ago.

They are a moist flavorful yeast dinner roll that I fell in love with, but actually never made myself. This was the perfect time. Usually squash rolls are made with butternut squash but I discovered acorn squash works just fine too. The addition of orange and sage added a subtle sweet and savory flavor that gave them more nuance.

Totally yummy and a nice presentation too. This was the one! I’m not even going to ask you to wish me luck, because I know those other Jousters are beyond awesome in their creativity. I don’t even look at what the others make each month until I finish my own recipe because if I did, I’m afraid it would psych me out and made me chicken out.

Now I can’t wait to post my recipe so I can go see what kind of wonders everyone else has made…

The Recipes:

Orange Squash Loaf

1 cup cooked acorn squash
1 large orange
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup Craisins

Cut a large acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds and put it cut side down in a baking dish with about a half an inch of water. Cover pan with foil and baked it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Scoop out the cooked squash. (You only need half of the squash for the recipe, but I cooked both halves and then served the other with butter and maple syrup for dinner.)

With a paring knife, peel the orange making sure to remove all white pith. Slice orange and remove as much of the membranes as possible as well as all seeds. Put oranges into mini food processor and blend until pulverized into a pulp.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the squash and orange and mix again.

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir into batter and mix until just moistened. Add the sage and Craisins and stir gently to disperse. Pour batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Click here for a printable recipe

Orange Sage Squash Rolls

1 cup cooked acorn squash
1/2 cup scalded milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 – 115 degrees)
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter flavored Crisco

Cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds and put it cut side down in a baking dish with about a half an inch of water. Cover pan with foil and baked it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Scoop out the cooked squash. (You only need half of the squash for the recipe, but I cooked both halves and then served the other with butter and maple syrup for dinner.)

Scald milk and set aside to cool. In a measuring cup add the yeast to the warm water. In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture, shortening, squash, milk, orange rind, and sage. Mix well.

Stir in another 3/4 cup of flour and beat well. When dough pulls together, turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes, adding the remaining flour as needed.

Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough in bowl, turning it once to coat dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free place until doubled in volume, about one hour.

Divide dough into 9 equally sized pieces and place in a greased 8x8 inch baking pan. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise until double in volume, about 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Click here for a printable recipe

6 comments:

Michele said...

I love your squash rolls! And I'm very happy to see you enter them into the Joust. I sat this month out even though I should have added a little orange zest to the gratin I posted today and entered it.( I would have had to change the squash as you did for your rolls.)But my heart just wasn't in it this month.
I'm still wishing you luck! I think you've got a winning entry. :-)

croquecamille said...

Cool! I think that there aren't nearly enough yeast breads in the Joust. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

So glad you didn't chicken out! These rolls look fabulous and so does the bread! I am really glad you entered the Joust! Best of luck!!!

Laurie said...

Thanks for the support, foodie gals!

Debinhawaii said...

I think these are a great entry--and they look and sound delicious! I am glad you entered them! Good luck in the joust!

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