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Winter Sweets: Sweet, Natural Bread

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

apricot-sweet-potato bread

Photo by Judith Hausman

Winter sweets don't have to be candy; this squash and apricot bread proves it.

January is supposed to be a time of dietary atonement. Annually, all around the nation, people step on sales after the holiday cookies and grimace. Despite the cold that nudges us toward cozier, heavier foods, we are actually burning fewer calories in near-hibernation. So how do you address those persistent sweet attacks?

Local, winter squash is still pretty easy to find in the Hudson Valley, so I work with those to create sweet but healthier goodies. Of course, canned squash or pumpkin will work just as well (and is sometimes less fibrous). This sweet bread is a treat for breakfast but is especially welcome at an early sunset with hot tea or milky coffee. Wait a bit for the loaf to cool well so it will slice better.

The apricots keep it moist and reduce the sugar and oil needed. More spices (cloves? allspice?), or merging them by substituting pumpkin-pie spice, are just fine. I like to bake small loaves and freeze one, but for an impressive gift, make a larger loaf. Just poke a toothpick into the middle to be sure it's thoroughly cooked.

Recipe: Squash-Apricot Sweet Bread 


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 /2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • zest of one orange, chopped
  • 15-ounce can squash purée or 2 cups cooked pumpkin or winter squash, mashed

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two small loaf pans or one larger 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Combine all dry ingredients, including the spices and the apricots, in a large bowl.

In another bowl combine the remaining wet ingredients. Stir the pumpkin mix, winter squash or squash purée into the dry mix and blend well. Pour into loaf pan(s) and bake 50 to 60 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through.

You might also enjoy these Locavore Recipes:
Vegetable Pastry
Barley Risotto with Roasted Pumpkin

Read more of Locavore Recipes »

Give us your opinion on Winter Sweets: Sweet, Natural Bread.
Submit Comment »
Quickly clicked on this link thinking this bread will be something like the Portuguese Sweet Bread. It's very much different but I'm not disappointed at all. Sounds good and am willing to try it.
Interesting, one of the ingredients is Cardamom, world's third-most expensive spice by weight behind safron and vanilla. I happen to be growing the plant as a foliage plant and not expecting any yield from it. Too cold for it in my area and there's just not enough space for a meaningful yield inside.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 5/22/2014 12:04:32 PM
Looks delicious.
Lisa, Lewisberry, PA
Posted: 1/29/2014 10:14:52 PM
Thank you for introducing me to this. It sounds wonderful and I cannot wait to try it.
Bruce, Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 10/8/2013 12:13:39 PM
Look delicious
Annie, Houston, TX
Posted: 5/7/2013 6:49:13 AM

About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

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