Brown Butter Butternut Squash Bread

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For a long time, butternut squashes intimidated me. The size, the shape, the armor of seemingly impenetrable skin. Inspired by lovely Lucinda’s suggestion in one of the comments, however, I tentatively bought a medium-sized butternut, hacked it in quarters, scooped out the seeds, sprinkled salt and pepper, and stuck it in the oven for about an hour. I admit I was a little spent after cutting the thing. It’s time to get our knives sharpened, it seems.

Fifty-some minutes later, gourd-shaped hulls filled with golden, steaming, sumptuously sweetened, anti-inflammatory pulp emerged (did you know that winter squashes have all sorts of health benefits?).

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My aim was to make soup, and I did. Tossed in with vegetable stock, an array of hearty cruciferous and root veggies and white beans, the pureed butternut squash soup was delicious. I had a lot left over that I didn’t use in the soup, though, and wasn’t sure what to do with gobs of roasted butternut.

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Enter Brown Butter Butternut Squash Bread – an unwieldy dish to say, but oh-so-melt-in-your-mouth-good when consumed. I paced myself and had only one small slice, but this loaf disappeared in a matter of minutes. To reduce the sugar high, I skipped the glaze, and I for one felt no loss. It’s one of those comforting sweet baked goods in the banana and pumpkin bread family, but even better. I think it’s the browned butter that makes the difference, adding depth to the taste.

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I’ve had requests to make the loaf again, and now that I’ve conquered my winter squash fears, I’m ready. Bring it, butternut.

6 thoughts on “Brown Butter Butternut Squash Bread

  1. Mmmmmm… looks so delicious! Butternut squash are my go to in the pumpkin family and I often make soup and sweet breads with them. If you are making a soup to be pureed you don’t even have to cut off the skin, as it softens up well in the cooking. Roasting it before making the bread sounds so luxurious. Another method you can try sometime is to follow a zucchini bread recipe (yes, grating the squash) and just substitute the butternut for the zucchini. More work, but with lovely results.

    1. Oh, I bet grating the squash for a sweet bread would be super delicious. I have a vitamix, so I bet I could even just toss it in there instead of manually grating. Thanks for the idea!

  2. So glad you’ve discovered the wonder of Butternut Squash! It’s by far our favorite winter squash, and once you get over the intimidation factor (some of them are behemoth!), you’ll find lots of uses for it. One tip for cutting it raw, as I agree it is one tough guy: before peeling it or cubing it, I cook it in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. This softens it just enough that peeling is easy and cutting it somewhat easier. It’s just not rock solid anymore. Then I will cube it and roast it with olive oil. If I’m pureeing my recipe anyway, I’ll often just cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, put it in a roasting pan and roast the two halves cut side down. Then I just scoop out the roasted squash and put it straight into my soup pot – thereby bypassing the whole tedious cubing stage.
    Must try that bread recipe – as luck would have it, I have leftover cubed squash from last night’s dinner!

    1. Good to know – lots of great info here! I’m definitely a butternut squash convert now – so naturally sweet and satisfying (and you know how I have a monster sweet tooth!) πŸ™‚

  3. Mmm, that bread sounds delicious. Delicata and acorn squash are also very tasty, and both are easier to cut (their skins are just softer somehow). Also, if you roast either of these two, the skin is edible! So no peeling at all! I often just cut them in into half-moons or big slices, take out the seeds, rub with salt and olive oil, and roast in the oven. They do all of the work in there (getting toasty, caramelized and brown in spots), and come out fantastic. They are even good leftover in so many things.

    -Loren

    1. I haven’t tried delicata squash, but I’ve made this yummy roasted acorn dish where you fill the cavity with orange juice glazed raisins and apples. I’ll have to hunt down some of these squashes and experiment. Thanks, Loren! πŸ™‚

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