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.
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Pumpkin Sandwich Treats

We were in NYC not too long ago and happily spent some time doing nothing in Sweet Melissa’s Patisserie. One of my favorite spots in the city, this laid back bakery and cafe has pastries, ice cream, light meals, and lots of interesting hot drinks (complete with homemade marshmallows.) Melissa’s baking book is one of the treasures of my collection and a book that I think any baker should have on her shelf. Every recipe is reliable, a little unique, and solidly delicious. The directions are always clear and uncomplicated, so you can have confidence that even a beginning baker will find success.

On the search for a new pumpkin dessert that would use up some of the pumpkin I’ve roasted for Thanksgiving pies, I decided to make Sweet Melissa’s Pumpkin Cookie Cakes.  I was curious to see molasses in the ingredients list and was afraid that it might overpower my sweet, fresh pumpkin. Having faith in the book paid off, of course, and the cookie cakes turned out to be a lovely balance of flavors. My homespun variation on the recipe was to add some yogurt cheese to the filling.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies, 2 dozen sandwiches
(You’ll want to serve 2 per person.)

Filling:
6 tbls. homemade yogurt cheese
6 tbls. unsalted butter, room temperature

I usually have a cheese hanging hook installed under my cabinets but haven’t done that yet in this new kitchen. Here’s my improvisation: small skillet as hook, large skillet as weight. Worked!

3/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Sandwich cookies:
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
8 tbls. unsalted butter

3/8 c. molasses
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree

2 c. AP
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh nutmeg, ground
3/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 c. milk

  1. To make yogurt cheese:
    Place a large piece of cheesecloth over a bowl and scoop the yogurt into it. Tie or rubber band the ends and hang for about 10-12 hours, letting the whey drip into the bowl. (You will know that it is done when it no longer looks wet.)
  2. Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the molasses, egg, and pumpkin. Mix until smooth.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add, alternating with milk, to the pumpkin mixture.
  4. Using a 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop, drop carefully onto a baking sheet covered with parchment.
  5. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Cool.
  6. To make the filling:
    Be sure that your butter is at room temperature. Beat with confectioners’ sugar. Then, beat in yogurt cheese and vanilla. (If your filling appears lumpy, it is because your butter was not quite right. Fix this by blending it in the food processor just until smooth.)
  7. Sandwich a small dollop of frosting between two cookies and serve!

Notes:

  • These cookies could certainly be eaten as a breakfast treat.
  • They are pretty sticky, once cooled. Be sure to place the bottom of the cookie on the cooling rack. Tops stick. When packaging, add a layer of parchment between cookies or they are likely to stick together.

Just Pumpkin Pie

pumpkinsThere’s a lot of ways that you can dress up pumpkin pie. Recipes are always trying to entice you with odd ingredients. But, on Thanksgiving, what’s really needed is just plain and simple tradition. Here’s a pumpkin pie that is exactly that – fullproof, reliable, and delicious.

Makes 1 9-inch pie, about 8-10 slices.

sugar pumpkin, about 2 pounds (about 1 1/2 c. puree)
your favorite pie crust recipe, one crust

Filling:
2 eggs, plus 2 more yolks
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. cream

  1. To make pumpkin puree:
    Rinse pumpkin. Remove stem. Cut it in half. Remove seeds and filaments. Turn the halves cut side down onto a baking sheet. Bake for about an hour at 350F or until the flesh is tender. Cool. Puree.
  2. Roll out your crust and place in a buttered, 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Whisk eggs into the pumpkin puree. Whisk remaining ingredients in, until smooth.
  4. Pour the filling into the crust.
  5. Bake at 350F for 1 hour in the center of the oven.
  6. Cool and refrigerate until dessert time.

Notes:

  • Save your pumpkin seeds for a crunchy snack.
  • Pumpkin puree can keep for several days, stored in the fridge.
  • Serve with sweetened whipped cream, of course.