Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Squash Bread (World Bread Day ’08)

Posted by bakinghistory on October 16, 2008

A wonderful loaf with a moist, chewy crumb and a crispy crust

3rd World Bread Day hosted by 1x umruehren bitte aka kochtopf

For this 2008 edition of World Bread Day, a blogging event founded and hosted by Zorra, I wanted to bake a bread with an ingredient with ties to the region of the United States where I live: New England.

So I chose to bake a bread made with  buttercup squash. The word squash originates from the Massachusett Indian word askutasquash, which indicated a vegetable that was eaten raw.

This bread is one of the best I have ever baked, and definitely one of my family’s favorites in the Fall. The squash provides a very moist and holey crumb, and the most gorgeous golden-orange color. The crust bakes crisp and the bread tastes only slightly sweet. It is great with a hearty soup for dinner on a cool Autumn evening.

The recipe comes from Mary Johnson Lincoln, a Massachusetts native who was a teacher at the famed Boston Cooking School and whose students included Fannie Farmer.

I recommend using buttercup squash because of its superior flavor and texture.

From the original recipe by: Mary J. Lincoln

In: “Mrs. Lincoln Boston Cook Book”, 1916—USA


1 cup (250 g) baked and pureed  buttercup squash

2 tbsp (25 g) sugar

1-1/2 cups (366 g) whole milk

1 tbsp (15 g) butter

1/2 tsp (2 g) active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp (15 ml) warm water

1 tsp (6 g) salt

3-1/3 cups to 4-1/3 cups (455 g to 595g) bread flour (as needed) I use King Arthur bread flour

semolina or cornmeal for the baking sheet

Scald the milk, then mix in it the pureed squash, butter, salt, and sugar.  When this mixture is cool add the yeast (mixed with the lukewarm water) and enough flour to have a dough that is well developed and supple, but rather slack. Knead well.

The dough should be soft and feel slightly tacky. Let it ferment, in a slightly greased bowl, covered, until double in bulk. Then gently shape it into a loaf on a floured surface, and place it on a baker peel or baking sheet on which  you have sprinkled a layer of fine semolina or cornmeal. Let the bread rise, covered, until light.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).

Bake the bread directly onto a baking stone if you have one or on the baking sheet for about 40-45 minutes, until golden brown. Add steam for the first 10 minutes, by placing in the oven a small metal pan filled with boiling water. Lower the temperature to 425°F (218°C) after the first 15 minutes.

This is how the crumb will look: (click on picture)

Thank you Zorra for hosting again World Bread Day!!!

21 Responses to “Squash Bread (World Bread Day ’08)”

  1. Ivy said

    The bread looks great.

  2. Very nice bread! I love the colour of the crumb 🙂

  3. The best bread you’ve ever baked, now that is high recommendation!
    It’s beautiful.

  4. I always love your history tidbits. The origin of the word squash is interesting, considering it is the vegetable I am least likely to think about eating raw. Your bread looks wonderful with such a beautiful golden color.

  5. Louise said

    Hi Manuela,
    Your squash bread looks heavenly. I must admit, and I wish I had a picture:) I made this exact bread once a very long time ago. I can’t even describe what it came out like. I’m so not a baker. Another recipe to pass on to Michele who also celebrated World Bread Day. Thank goodness someone in this family can bake because it certainly isn’t me. I must admit though, your pictures make me tempted to try try again…Thanks for sharing:)

  6. bakinghistory said

    @Ivy: Thank you 🙂

    @ Petra: Yes, the color is wonderful—a very cheerful orange 🙂

    @ MyKitchenInHalfCups: 🙂 .

    @ Susan: Thanks :-). I wonder if the word referred to young squashes that can be eaten raw, like we do with zucchini for example…

    @ Louise: Thank you 🙂 . I think the tricky part here is that you cannot know in advance how wet the squash pulp will be, even if it is baked instead of boiled or steamed. You want to have a slack dough that can be manageable, so you have to “feel” how much flour it will be needed each time. Does Michele have a blog? I’d love to read it.

  7. Simona said

    Very nice! I usually make soup with roasted buttercup squash. Now I have something else to try. I too love the warm color of the crumb.

  8. bakinghistory said

    @ Simona: Bentornata!! I have to admit it is not easy for me to resist and avoid eating roasted buttercup plain just out of the oven, it is soo good. But this bread is really wonderful and worth ksaving some of the pumpkin to bake it. I always keep a loaf of this in the freezer for emergencies 🙂

  9. zorra said

    Wow what a wonderful yellow crumb. Love it! Thx for your participation in WBD’08.

  10. bakinghistory said

    @ Zorra: Thank you for hosting!!

  11. Louise said

    Hi Manuela,
    Michele doesn’t have a blog yet but, I’m working on it:) she’s more interested in correcting my grammar on my blog. I just gave her access LOL.

    BTW: I LOVE the new Orange Bread Recipe post. It’s so gloomy today…

  12. bakinghistory said

    @ Louise: I see 🙂 . Well, if she starts one someday I’ll love to read it!

  13. Jude said

    Looks like a nice heirloom recipe. Love the crumb color..

  14. bakinghistory said

    @ Jude: a great recipe, definitely a keeper :-). The only important thing is to use a very good squash for both flavor and texture.

  15. What a beautiful moist crumb! I have some homemade pumpkin purée standing in my fridge: I think your bread will be my after-hours party bread 😉
    Thank you!

  16. bakinghistory said

    @ Sandra: Thanks!!! 🙂

  17. Done!!
    Just made a few changes: 1 tbsp of sugar, 200g pumpkin purée, half milk/half water
    Too bad it was already dark outside, I would have preferred natural light to show the beautiful color..
    Pumpkin Bread
    I think it would be even better with a little more salt..?!
    Thanks again for the recipe!

  18. bakinghistory said

    @Sandra: Wow, that is beautiful! Thanks for trying the recipe. Perhaps a bit more salt would be be good, when I baked this bread the squash I used was so sweet and caramelized by roasting that the flavor was just right, but a lot depends on the flavor of the squash that is available.

  19. Lien said

    Your bread looks so good, I just had to bake it for the afterparty! Thanks for the recipe!
    ( )

  20. bakinghistory said

    @ Lien: Thank you!! 🙂

  21. […] de refaire une des recettes proposées pour l’évènement, c’est celui de BakingHistory que j’ai choisi et revu à ma sauce.Il n’a pas fait long […]

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