Squash-Chocolate Bread

Squash-Chocolate Bread

No one loves quick breads more than we do, they are forgiving recipes that substitute maple syrup for sugar really well, and they are versatile ways to celebrate the seasons. Leading into fall, an obvious choice is pumpkin or butternut squash (any squash can work, but butternut has a really great texture for baking). 

This recipe is only lightly sweetened. If you like a sweeter quick bread try using semi-sweet chocolate chips, or sprinkling coarse sugar on top before baking. 

Preheat oven to 375 F. (If you are making your own squash or pumpkin puree you can set the oven at 400 or 425 while baking them, but then be sure to turn it back down to 375. My favorite way to make squash or pumpkin puree is to cut the gourd into large, relatively even chunks and place cut-side down in a pan with enough water to cover the bottom entirely, then wrap tightly with foil and let them steam until soft.)

Grease and flour a bread pan. In a small bowl combine 1 c whole grain flour (this can be whole wheat flour or rye flour, anything with gluten), 1 c all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of salt. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, whisk 2 eggs well. Add 1/4 c oil, 3/4 c cooked pumpkin or squash, 1/2 c buttermilk, and 1/3 c maple syrup. Whisk thoroughly, mashing out any chunks of the pureed squash. Stir in the dry ingredients but be careful not to overstir. Add a generous 1/2 c of dark chocolate chips. Or more. 

Cook until done. Set a timer for 35 minutes, and if the top is browning too much but the inside is not done, make a tent of foil to prevent more browning without trapping any steam. After this check every 10 minutes until a knife comes out fairly clean (with the squash, this is a moist bread and you actually don't want the knife to be dry) or until the top is fairly firm to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then invert on a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!