This recipe is made with our homegrown butternut squash, but you can buy some in the fresh produce section of your grocery store or from a farmer’s market. Canned pumpkin may be substituted but the consistency will be a little different, so adjust your flour accordingly and check to be certain the pumpkin is gluten free. I use Jules Gluten free flour (ordered from the Jules website) and it’s fabulous, but there are other gluten-free flours. (***Image of bread and squash from our garden by my talented daughter Elise)
The first step in the process is to cut one large or several smaller butternut squash in half and spoon out the seeds. Place the halves in a rectangular glass or metal baking pan with the open sides facing up and drizzle them with olive oil. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until well done, approximately 45-60 minutes. The time all depends on the size of the squash. Remove from oven to cool. You can stop right now, sprinkle the halves with salt, add some butter or pure maple syrup, and eat them as they are. But for the purposes of the bread, we forge ahead. I always bake extra. (***Image of the bread baking by Elise)
Dry Ingredients: Mix together: 1 2/3 cups Gluten Free flour (I use Jules) ¼ tsp. gluten-free baking soda (I used Bob’s Red Mill) 1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder (I used Rumford) ¾ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. cloves (I use McCormick spices which are gluten-free). The amount of flour may vary with the consistency of your squash so you may need a little more or less. A whisk does a good job of mixing these together.
Moist Ingredients: Whisk together: ½ cup shortening or oil (I used Smart Balance Omega), 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 cup of mashed up squash, ¼ cup dark molasses (I used Brer Rabbit Full Flavor but have used other brands). The molasses is my secret ingredient. If you use the same cup you measure the oil in for the molasses, it will slide right out. Another tip, blend your moist ingredients in a bowl large enough to accommodate the dry because they’re going in next.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until well blended, never the other way around. I use a large whisk to blend them. Yes, the same whisk used above. Pour the mixture into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 for one hour or until a sharp knife comes out clean. This recipe makes one large loaf, but I always double it and make three medium loaves. This is a delicious, moist bread reminiscent of gingerbread, on the dense side, but gluten-free bread is denser. It also freezes well. Everyone in the family loves it, even those who can eat gluten. I’m gluten intolerant, as are my two young nieces and my sister, so we are always seeking good gluten-free options. I gave the brand names because some companies are far more conscientious than others about avoiding cross contamination, and anyone with Celiac or gluten intolerance knows what a problem that is, so the chatter is frequently about which brands are ‘safe.’ You can use any brands that are approved for this recipe.
And Happy Holidays to you all.