Saturday, 6 September 2014

Saturday baking: pumpkin (or butternut squash), parmesan and olive bread

It's drizzly outside, the leaves are on the turn and autumn's settling in. Shall we do some weekend baking? Do you fancy some Pumpkin/Butternut Squash Bread?
Pumpkin or Butternut Squash, Parmesan and Olive Bread
There are only so many bog standard cheese/ham/bread lunches a family can take. We reached our limit a month or two ago. I've been trying to mix it up on our weekend lunches, bringing a bit more creativity to the table to make the weekend lunch - that lovely, languid thing - a little more special.

Today I made Pumpkin, Parmesan and Olive Bread. It takes about 10-15 minutes prep, 45 minutes in the oven, and a few minutes resting - the perfect ratio of low time/effort to high impact/taste.

I ate mine plain and buttered, still steaming warm, and it was lovely. The lovely husband adorned his with cheese and chutney. I'd have thought a bit of ham would be nice too. I added the olives at the end, folding them into one end of the loaf, leaving the other end olive-free to suit the younger boys. And they asked for seconds.Would you like the recipe? It's from our Abel & Cole cookbook, page 121. 

Pre-heat your oven to 190oC/375oF/gas 5. The whole recipe uses a mug to measure - just pick out a standard-size mug from your collection and stick to the same mug all through.

Mix 1 1/3 mugs of self-raising flour in a large bowl with a pinch of sea salt, 1 mug of grated raw butternut squash or pumpkin, 1/2 mug of roughly grated parmesan (or a cheaper alternative - I used Grana Padano), a handful of chopped black olives and 1 tbsp chopped rosemary.

Once your dry ingredients are combined, whisk 2 large eggs with 1 tbsp milk in your vacated mug then add to your mixture and mix until you've got a sticky ball (I used my hands - fun, quick, but messy.)

Drop your ball of dough onto a greased baking tray, form into a patty, and sprinkle a little extra flour and grated parmesan on top. Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for 45-50 mins. When done, the bottom of the loaf will make a hollow sound when you tap it. Let it cool a little for 10 mins before serving. But, trust me, it's best served warm.

This loaf will feed four as part of a lunch spread, or two greedy people (ah-hem) with a bit of butter and cheese. Leftovers are delicious toasted, as the butternut squash caramelises slightly in the heat.

Wishing you and yours a lovely, restful weekend.

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