While winter squashes store well, I like to bake some up so I can have pumpkin puree on hand. I baked my first batch last week. It brought back memories of last fall when I was baking and pureeing squash for Miriam's baby food. Where does the time go? Now, she's eating everything we are. Well, except for foods that are green. She refuses to eat those.
They grow up so fast. One day, baby food, the next, high heels.
This fall, as I baked up my first oven full of our butternut squash, my thoughts were of Pumpkin Pasta (which I made that night) and Pumpkin Streusel Bread. I love to freeze the puree for future use- I'm more apt to use it if all I need to do is thaw it. The instructions on how to do make the puree are in the Pumpkin Pasta link above, but here are a few photos to show you how easy it is to do.
Now, I know you probably already have a pumpkin bread recipe that you like. If you don't, if you're in the mood to try a new recipe or if you're looking for an idea of gift you can give your neighbors, teachers, etc., come Christmas, copy this one down. It's a good one.
It's incredibly moist and the streusel on the top makes you think it should be reserved for company or special occasions, but you shouldn't. I've used this recipe to make Christmas gifts in the past, sometimes making mini loaves and sometimes large ones. It freezes well, so you can tell the recipients they can pull it out in February when they aren't inundated with holiday sweets.
Pumpkin Streusel Bread (adapted from Cooking Light, Annual Recipes 2001)
Makes two loaves. If you double this recipe, it makes 13 small loaves- just decrease the baking time by 10 minutes before checking.
4 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. chilled butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins (optional)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups pureed pumpkin (either butternut squash or canned)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
To prepare the topping, combine the ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. Set aside.
To make the bread, combine the flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, blending until just mixed. Divide between two (9x5 inch) bread pans that have been coated with cooking spray. Divide the topping between the two, sprinkling it evenly over the tops.
Bake for about 45 minutes or longer at 350 degrees, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire racks. Cool completely before wrapping well if freezing.