A Wonderful Mistake in a Loaf of Bread

Butternut Squash Coriander Bread

I was certain those were parsley leaves. Later on, talking about the ingredients, the english name suddenly escaped my mind, so I looked at the label and was shocked to realise I had used coriander, whilst thinking it was parsley. Both are similar in their leaf shape, but offer two very different worlds of flavour to the palate. I reckon, it was however a wonderful result on an error. Perhaps the very best bread I have ever taken out of an oven until now.

The ever present necessity of baking breads and the joy of eating them had been matched by spotting a butternut squash resting between oranges, apples and lemons. Using any pumpkin type in bread is once more a combination I neither had planned, nor imagined before, although I have done several things with pumpkin and do love the taste very much. Somethings are ripe before one gets to see them green. A constant traffic of impressions, a happily creative mind and my hungry senses, greatly educated by the culinary richness of growing up with my family, have become the Coffee Dramatist, enjoying the realisation of sudden ideas and of long developments.

Butternut squash – cucurbita moschata (duchesne ex poiret) – has its origin around Central America, just like the various other types of squash available. I have done wonderful soups with pumpkin and needless to say, a pumpkin pie is one of the best sweet pies a human could ever eat. What many do not like about this vegetable is the hard peel which could be difficult to take off. An easy way to do this is with a potato peeler. The japanese Hokaido pumpkins are known for having a peel fairly which is easily edible when cooked, thus they get cooked without being peeled. However, when roasted, it is possible to eat the peel of the butternut squash as well. Also the seeds are edible when roasted, although they are not the ones commercially used as a snack.

to grate small chunks
to grate threads

I have always been interested in the cooking state of vegetables, especially when it comes to baking. Thinking of this, this time around I decided to use two different cuts for the pumpkin. To ensure the visibility of the butternut squash in the bread, as well as a clear and full taste of it, half of it was grated very fine, and the other half in small chunks.

  • 500 g whole-wheat flour
  • 450 g butternut squash (half cut in threads, half in small chunks)
  • about 20 to 20 70 g coriander leaves
  • 9 g salt
  • 7 g coffee powder (very fine grind)
  • yeast for 500 g flour
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • about 330 ml warm water

Mix flour, salt, yeast and coffee first, to make sure the yeast is well-distributed. Then add olive oil and mix well. Finally add the butternut squash and the coriander leaves. After these are all well mixed, start adding the warm water carefully. When the right amount of water is obtained, knead well for about 20 minutes.

In a bowl lightly covered with olive oil, put the dough to rest for about 40 minutes, covered with a moist towel. Knead the dough once more about 10 minutes.  Then, prepare the bread mold – again with a bit of olive oil – and let it rest and rise until it doubles in size. After covering the form lightly with aluminium foil, the bread bakes 15 minutes by 175° and after taking the aluminium foil off, another 30 minutes.

Butternut Squash Coriander Bread

Bread baking could be made a celebration for the senses and celebrations usually take place with more than one person. Celebrate by inviting several friends (or to-be-friends) to witness the baking. They must not be there for the kneading and preparation of the dough, but part of the joy of bread eating is the aroma it emanates from the oven many minutes before it is ready. Besides a celebration for the sake of the enjoyment for the olfactory system, it is advantageous to eat bread fresh and any loaf kept until the next day will no longer be fresh. Thus it is not a bad idea to get rid of the complete bread, before it loses its freshness. Your guests will certainly and gladly assist here.

When bread is of high quality, it is its best eaten without much disturbance to the taste. Here you have bread that does not need much. A good olive oil or a bit of butter are more than enough. Cream cheese might be good as well. If you wish add a light salad to it and a good wine.

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