Guest Post: Squash and Veggie Sandwich Bread

squashThis month’s guest post comes from Rebecca K., island mom, artist, and home baker. She turned wintertime’s abundant storage squash into a healthy staple for her family. Thank for sharing, Rebecca!

Squash and Veggie Sandwich Bread

EVERY MOTHER NEEDS TO KNOW! Your children will eat and enjoy vegetables, given they can be properly hidden. This bread is loaded with nutrition from veggies to whole grains. If any of your children eschew the goodness of veggies, keep them well-stocked on this bread. The recipe is a modification of Small Potato’s Oatmeal Bread recipe, so follow the steps of that description with a few tweaks.

4 tbsp. melted butter
2 tbsp.—1/4 cup brown sugar (depending on taste)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup wheat bran
¼ cup nonfat dry milk
2 generous tbsp. vital wheat gluten
2 ½ tsp. instant yeast
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cup pureed butternut squash*

  1.  Mix the melted butter and brown sugar together until the brown sugar is incorporated.
  2. Add in the dry ingredients and mix together.
  3. Ensure your squash puree is lukewarm and mix into the bread. If you have a good mixer with a dough hook, I just let it do the rest of the job and set it on a low setting. Let it go at it for about 5 minutes. This is where you have to watch the dough a bit. You want it to be soft and a bit sticky but not so much as a sweet bread or cinnamon roll dough…it should hold its form and ball up. Depending on the water content of your squash puree, you may need to adjust your flour content by 4 tbsp. to achieve the right consistency.
  4. Oil your bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise 1 hour than punch down dough, roll out into a rectangle and roll to fit in your loaf pan.
  5. Cover and let rest for about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake bread for 40 minutes then cool on wire rack.

*Rebecca’s notes:

  •  I have also done a mix of pureed carrots and squash with great success.
  •  I always keep butternut squash stocked in our house because it is so conducive to use in many breads. I’ve used it in cinnamon rolls, waffles, and pancakes and not seen any reduction in the rate of family gobbling. Just assume it is equivalent to most liquids you might use and substitute.

Light Wheat Sandwich Bread

From: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

2 1/2 c. bread flour
1 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tbls. sugar or honey (both are equally delicious)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbls. powdered milk
1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
2 tbls. butter, melted
1 1/4 water

  1. Mix the dry ingredients, including yeast. Add the butter and water slowly. Knead by hand for 10 minutes or with the dough hook of your mixer for 6.
  2. Cover and let the dough rise for 2 hours.
  3. Form your loaf and place in an oiled pan. Let the dough rise another 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan and let cool.

Blackberry Quick Bread

Come on. Confess. You’ve been hoarding those berries in the back of your freezer. It’s time to get them out. Have some faith that spring is near.  This flexible quick bread can be made with any berry,  just be sure to defrost them completely before using.

Makes 2 loaves – one for you and one for a friend (who will truly appreciate the sharing of your freezer stash)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 white wheat (or whole wheat) flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
about 12 oz. blackberries, gently mashed
almonds (optional, for sprinkling on top)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. This bread will mix up faster than your oven can preheat – it’s that quick! Grease and flour 2 bread pans.
  2. Mix flours, sugar, baking soda, salt.
  3. Stir in flavorings, eggs, oil, and applesauce.
  4. Fold in blackberries. (Don’t be alarmed. Your batter should be bright purple. Baking will tone it down a little.)
  5. Bake for 1 hour.
  • Do you have a lot of frozen berries? How about dessert? Kids love roly poly or mix berries for an easy crisp.

Fullproof Roll Recipes

Fact: No one eats bread on Thanksgiving. Fact: If you don’t have bread, everyone will ask, “What? No bread?” So, make some quick and easy rolls and enjoy them with leftovers. Here are my favorite recipes.

  • Parker House Rolls – Light and a little chewy, these rolls have a a squirt of butter in the center. Dress them up with garlic or herbs or just leave them plain. They’re easy to make and taste best when fresh from the oven. You can freeze them, however, just undercook them a little and then heat them in an oven on a baking sheet when ready to eat.
  • Whole Wheat Rosemary Rolls – These rolls, despite being made with whole wheat, are not too heavy to eat at the end of the meal. Be sure to pinch the bottom of the fans together before you place them in the muffin tins. If you do not, they will peel apart in the bread basket. Again, these can be dressed up with any herb you like.

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

This bread makes great toast. Spread fromage blanc on it and it’s almost an entire breakfast. Double the recipe. It freezes well. Adapted from the ever wonderful Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

For two loaves:cinnamon bread
2 1/2 c. bread flour
1 c. white wheat flour (or sub. more bread flour)
4 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbls. shortening, melted
1/2 c. buttermilk or whole milk
3/4 c. warm water
1 1/2 c. raisins
1 c. chopped walnuts

For filling:
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbls. cinnamon

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients.
  3. Pour the wet into dry and knead by hand or machine for about ten minutes. Knead in the raisins and walnuts.
  4. Let rise in a clean, dry bowl for two hours.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Grease two 2-lb loaf pans.
  6. sprinkle with fillingRoll out into a large rectangle, with the short side of your dough being slightly longer than your pan.
  7. Sprinkle with the filling mixture, leaving an inch on one side. Roll up tightly, pulling the dough slightly toward you as you roll. Seal the seam by pinching it. Place in loaf pan to rise for 90 minutes.
  8. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.

Zucchini Bread – Two Ways

chocolate zucchini bread and regularWe didn’t want to appear to be novice gardeners. Even though this was our first year for a real garden, we knew enough to try to avoid the onslaught of a vigorous zucchini harvest. And so, in our wisdom, we decided to only plant two zucchini plants. Little did we know that even that would produce way more zucchini than two people could eat.  And thus, I found myself one Saturday morning, facing off against this giant veg.  My task: eliminate the zucchini. Both of these recipes are a little different than traditional zucchini bread and can be easily scaled up if you’re going to wage your own war against this prolific squash.

Chocolate Hazelnut Zucchini Bread

This recipe produces a moist chocolate loaf. Serve with fromage blanc or just plain.

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tbls. butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
7 tbls. cocoa powder
2 cups AP flour + 2 tbls.
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups prepared zucchini
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Prepare the zucchini: Cut off the top and bottom. Decide if you are going to peel your zucchini. If you have a larger, tougher squash, you will want to peel it. I prefer to do so, as it makes the bread lighter and less vegetal. If a strong zucchini taste is what you want, then don’t peel. Grate your zucchini on the large side of a box grater. Place it in a colander and place this over a large bowl. Weight your zucchini down, so that it will begin to drain. (A glass bowl works well.) Let drain for 30 minutes to an hour.

  1. With a mixer, whisk eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce together. In a small bowl, mix butter, vanilla, and cocoa. Whisk this into the egg mixture.
  2. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add the zucchini.
  4. Toss the extra 2 tbls. of flour with the mini chips and nuts. Add to mixture.
  5. Fill two greased and floured loaf pans half full. Bake at 350F for 60 minutes. (Test with toothpick – if your zucchini was really wet, you may need some more time.)

Zucchini Bread

If you peel the zucchini, this bread could almost pass for a lighter type of pound cake. It goes well with jam or under mixed berries.

3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tbls. lemon juice (optional)
6 tbls. butter, melted and cooled
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 – 2 1/2 c. prepared zucchini

Follow the above directions for preparing the zucchini and assembling the bread. Bake at 375F for 60 minutes.

How to Make Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread is a wonderful thing to make in summer. Top it with your favorite herbs and you’ve got a light accompaniment to any meal you might make on the grill. Save some grilled vegetables for sandwiches the next day.focaccia bread

In a bowl, mix:

3 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

Add to the bowl:

1 cup plus 2 tbls. water
1 tbls. olive oil

Stir by hand with a wooden spoon or mix by machine. Either way, mix and then knead until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.focaccia dough, risen

Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise in a warm place for 30-60 minutes.

Drizzle olive oil onto a baking sheet and use fingers to spread it out. With oiled fingers, take the risen dough and gently spread it on the pan. Dimple the dough with your fingertips. Sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Paint with a little more olive oil. (At this point, your bread can be held in the refrigerator without too much harm. It is, after all, a flatbread.)

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Best served hot and crispy.