Macrina Bakery Squash Harvest Loaf

I have been planning for this bread in my mind for a while.  I was waiting until the Fall came and the markets are filled with different types of squashes.  I found this recipe on La Tartine Gourmande.  The original recipe came from the Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook.

Just wanted to give you words of encouragement: don’t be intimidated by this lengthy ingredient list and the recipe.  It’s actually very simple and straightforward.  I roasted the butternut squash the day before so that I didn’t have to spend extra time doing that today.  Just read through this recipe (or any recipes) and get the ingredients organized.  I did take the liberty and used other nuts and seeds;  my daughter is allergic to a lot of nuts, so I used almond instead.  I also used sunflower seeds and shredded coconuts. 

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This will yield 2 – 9x5x3” loaves

  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash purée*
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

*Use about 1 lb 1/2 for 2 cups of roasted butternut squash, a medium-sized squash.

Roasting the butternut squash.

  • Wash and cut the squash in two halves, remove the seeds and place the halves in a rimmed baking sheet, face up, with 1 cup water in the pan. Cook in a preheated oven at 375 F for 1 hour minimum, until the flesh is fork tender.
  • Remove and let cool down before scooping the squash out.
  • Place in a food processor and mix smoothly.
  • Let cool down and use 2 cups for 2 loaves. Keep the rest in the fridge for 3 days max, or freeze it for future times.

Making the loaves

  • Place the nuts and seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 15 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool down before grinding them, medium. Keep 1/4 cup on the side, for the decoration.
  • Turn the oven temperature down to 325 F.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
  • Add the seeds, minus 1/4 cup. Mix with a wooden spoon.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil and two types of sugar and use the paddle attachment to mix on medium speed, for 4 mins.
  • Add the roasted butternut squash and continue to mix for 2 mins.
  • Then, add one egg at a time.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the flour and the buttermilk alternatively, until the liquid is absorb each time.
  • Transfer the preparation in 2 oiled loaf pans measuring 9 x 5 x 3″, 2/3 to the top.
  • Sprinkle with the reserved seeds.
  • Cook in the oven for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out dry once inserted in the loaf. Remove and let cool for 20 mins before unmolding on a cooling rack.

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My opinion:  This was definitely worth it!!  Butternut squash gives such full, yet mild and rounded flavor.  Using oil makes this bread more fluffy and moist, and brown sugar gives substance.  I’m also happy with the seeds, nuts and coconut I used.  If you love seeds and nuts, you’ll love this bread!!  This is a guilt free bread I can give to my children because it’s packed with wholesome goodness (oh gee, do I sound like a commercial?)!!

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