I love cooking seasonally. Using what I find on the supermarket shelves, produce that is really at it's peak - nothing frozen or canned. Lately there has been a butternut squash on my dining room table almost constantly - I'll buy a new one as soon as I use the old one. And when I made this recipe for butternut squash bread, I only needed about half the puree. So I made another one - but I changed one key ingredient, to conduct a little experiment.
The bread on the right, is the original recipe, made with canola oil. The one on the left, which is slightly darker was made by replacing all of the oil in the recipe with apple butter. There was no clear favorite among family and coworkers - I was most intrigued by the reactions made when I offered the two versions. Some, learning of the low-fat status, went straight for the apple-butter version, while others bypassed it for the full-fat treat.
Both the breads were sweet, moist and tasty. The oil version was a little lighter in texture, and had more of a 'crumb.' The apple butter version was sweeter (apple butter has a high sugar content) with a slightly denser texture.
A recipe like this, with fall flavors and fruit purees, are good for substituting lower fat ingredients, the way many others may not be. The apple butter also adds a little more sweet flavor and spice. Bottom line - these were both really delicious, so take your pick which you'd prefer to make!
Tip of the Day: If you do want to play around with the fat content of your recipes, a good way to start is to replace half the fat with a substitute - apple butter, applesauce, mashed bananas or other pureed fruit - and keep the other half oil. This substitute generally works better as a replacement for oil rather than butter or margarine.
Previously in bread: Lemon-Scented Pull Apart Coffee Cake, Cinnamon Swirl Bread and Chocolate Bread Pudding.
Recipe: (adapted from My Baking Addiction)
1 cup butternut squash purée (**see below)
1/2 cup vegetable oil OR 1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 ¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Mix together the squash, eggs, oil or apple butter, water and sugar until well combined.
Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until just mixed.
Pour the batter into a greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Bake on 350 F for 55 to 60 minutes.
**Butternut squash puree:
I used about a 2-pound squash to make this recipe twice over. There are several ways to cook a squash. I sliced it in half, remove the seeds, sprinkled it with just a touch of brown sugar and butter, and put it face up on a baking sheet. I baked it at 350 F for about an hour, then scooped out all the flesh and pureed it.
In the past, I've also peeled the squash and cut it into chunks, then steamed it in the microwave until mashable with a fork - 6 to 10 minutes generally.