Serves a Crowd

Butternut - Apple Butter Bread with a Cinnamon Raisin Swirl

October 27, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 2 loaves
Author Notes

I love the versatility of butternut squash but had never made it into a bread. So I've been thinking since last Friday how I might want to approach it. To a puree of roasted butternut squash, I decided to add some nicely spiced apple butter (I had some of June Taylor's Gravenstein Apple Butter in the fridge which I highly recommend if you don't have time to make your own). I added some sweetness in the form of both brown sugar and honey (since I just couldn't make up my mind which to use). After the first rising, I decided to split the dough in half; flatten the dough into rectangles; baste them with melted butter; sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, sugar and raisins; and roll it up like a jelly roll. I baked one free-style; the other in a loaf pan. Both worked just fine. My mouth really couldn't tell the difference. The bread just melted in my mouth either way. The ultimate breakfast bread. Or dessert, for that matter. —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2" chunks (3/4 cup pureed)
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple butter that's nicely spiced
  • 22-25 ounces unbleached AP flour (I recommend King Arthur)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast (you can buy this in the little packets in the baking section)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins (or more if you want)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven and roast the squash until soft. Puree it in a food processor until very smooth. You only need 3/4 cup of the puree for the bread, so keep the rest for another use. Add 1/4 cup of apple butter to it, to make 1 cup of puree.
  2. Combine the flour, brown sugar and instant yeast together with a whisk.
  3. I have a food processor with a bread dough blade. If you don't have this attachment, go to Step 5. If you do have it, then throw it in the food processor and add everything else except the water. Pulse about 20 times until the dough is coming together and then add the water. Continue to pulse about 5-6 more times to allow the dough to absorb the water.
  4. Turn it out onto a lightly floured work space and knead the bread, adding flour if necessary, until the dough is soft, but not sticky, and becomes elastic (meaning the gluten is well-developed). The best way I have of testing it (although there are probably a bunch of effective ways to do this) is to pinch off a good-sized chunk and stretch it slowly with your fingers. It should stretch a bit and hold without tearing. If it tears, you need to keep kneading it until it stretches. The dough should be smooth and soft.
  5. If you don't have the food processor attachment for kneading bread, you'll have to do it the old fashioned way, which I actually love to do when I'm not in a hurry. In a large bowl place the puree, butter, egg, honey and salt. Mix them up well. Add half of the dry ingredients from Step 2. Mix the flour in with a spatula. Add half of the rest of the dry ingredient and mix in. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients and start to work it with your hands. When it's holding together, place on a lightly floured work space and continue to knead, adding flour if necessary. See the directions in Step 4.
  6. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic (but not tightly as the yeast needs to breath), and place in a warm area of the kitchen until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  7. Split the dough in half, covering one half while you work with the other half. Press the dough with your fingers to make a rectangle that's the width of your loaf pan (about 7 inches) by about 12 inches. Brush on melted butter; mix together the sugar, cinnamon and cardamom and sprinkle 1/2 of the mixture on the melted butter; roll the dough up like a jelly roll starting with the short side that measures about 7 inches. Pinch the seam together to get a good seam, butter the loaf pan if you're using one, and place the loaf in the pan - seam side facing down. If you're not using a loaf pan, just place the loaf on a baking sheet, seam side facing down.
  8. Do the same thing with the other loaf. Cover them and place them in a warm place until they double in size, about 1 hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350F. If using a baking stone, preheat the oven 1 hour before you bake the bread. Bake the bread for 45 minutes. The best way to know for sure if the bread is done is to stick a temperature probe into the bottom of the loaf. For this bread, it should be 200F to be done.
  10. Let the bread cool for about 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with butter, apple butter, maple butter, or aargersi's butternut butter! Yum!!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • fiveandspice
  • gingerroot
  • JoanG
  • mrslarkin

22 Reviews

Ceege October 24, 2015
Please help. I have the squash roasting (as of this minute) in my oven. Can anyone tell me exactly how many cups of flour I should use? I do not have a scale so am unable to weigh it out. Please hurry as I have all ingredients set to go EXCEPT for the flour. Thank you, thank you.
mrslarkin October 24, 2015
Its roughly 5 1/4 cups to 6 cups. 22 - 25 ounces of king Arthur flour is roughly 625 -708 grams fyi. 120 g = 1 cup of KA flour.
Ceege August 12, 2014
I saved this recipe a while ago and am finally getting around to making it. Before I do, can you specify how much butternut squash to use. One cup, two??? My farmers market has such a variation in sizes of squashes, it is hard to determine which size to buy. Cup measurements would really help in recipes like this. Thanks for any help you can give me. I am looking forward to baking this bread.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 12, 2014
In the instructions under #1. it says to use 3/4 cup of the puree in the dough, but I should really add that to the ingredients list too. I'll do it right now! Hope you enjoy the bread - it's one that quickly disappears at our house :-)
lapadia December 20, 2010
Your recipe is so delicious, but then I knew it would be the minute I saw it! Made it over the weekend, it didn't last long...a keeper, for sure! Happy Holidays, ChezSuzanne!
TheWimpyVegetarian December 21, 2010
Thanks so much lapadia! I'm so glad you liked it so much! I'm making it this week since we'll have house guests for the holiday. Have a wonderful holiday!!
fiveandspice October 27, 2010
This looks so delicious! It's definitely going on to my weekend bread baking list!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 27, 2010
Thanks fiveandspice! I hope you like it. Your Browned Butter and Butternut bread and Mor's Boller is on my list too! So fun.
gingerroot October 27, 2010
This looks so good!! I can almost smell it...thanks for a fantastic recipe.
TheWimpyVegetarian October 27, 2010
Thanks gingerroot! The house last night smelled soooo good when it was baking!
JoanG October 27, 2010
Fabulous recipe. I am going to try it with another squash I have on hand.
TheWimpyVegetarian October 27, 2010
Thanks so much JoanG! I hope you like it - I'd love to hear how it goes for you. This was my night snack last night, breakfast this morning, and right now, I'm trying to convince myself I shouldn't have another couple slices with lunch......
JoanG October 27, 2010
How about with cream cheese on top? Or as french toast! My mouth is watering.
TheWimpyVegetarian October 27, 2010
Yeeesss! And that does it, I'm off to the kitchen for another slice. I LOVE your french toast idea!! My favorite french toast is using cinnamon bread, but didn't even think of it! With some maple syrup or maple butter would be to die for! So, tomorrow's breakfast is all figured out now....thanks!
JoanG December 7, 2010
At last, I made it! Just had a slice and love it! It looks just like your photo. I used my own homemade pumpkin puree and cranberry/apple butter and golden raisins. And, ran short of cardamom so added ginger. To top it off, I drizzled on MrsLarkin's cinnamon glaze from her butternut sage scones. WOW, great recipe. Thanks ChefSuzanne!
TheWimpyVegetarian December 7, 2010
Great!! I'm so glad you like it so much. I've gotta make this one again over the holidays!! Thanks so much for the feedback Joan!
mrslarkin October 27, 2010
Yowza! This looks delicious!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 27, 2010
Thanks mrslarkin! IAnd your scones look absolutely amazing!! I can't wait to make them.
drbabs October 27, 2010
Wow--this sounds great! I swear I'm going to learn how to make bread this winter!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 27, 2010
Thanks drbabs! I just started making yeast breads a couple years ago, but immediately fell in love with the whole process. You could totally do this! It's just a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, and really not difficult at all once you get a feeling for the dough.
lapadia October 27, 2010
EXCELLENT! ...You probably know I am going to make this recipe (as soon as I am done with my PBS butternut adventure)!!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 27, 2010
Thanks so much lapadia! And I definitely want to see your PBS gig if at all possible! So exciting!