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?
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.