Seeded Butternut Squash Braid Recipe

Seeded Butternut Squash Braid Recipe

Ingredients

2-3/4 cups uncooked cubed peeled butternut squash

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)

2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)

1/2 cup pepitas or sunflower kernels

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

TOPPING:

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup pepitas or sunflower kernels

How to make it

Place squash in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash squash (you will need 2 cups); cool to 110°-115°.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk and water. In a large bowl, combine the pepitas, butter, egg, brown sugar, salt, cooked squash, yeast mixture and 2 cups flour; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Shape each into a 26-in. rope; braid ropes. Transfer to a greased baking sheet; form into a circle, pinching ends together to seal. Cover with a clean kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

For topping, beat egg and water; brush over braid. Sprinkle with pepitas. Bake at 350° for 18-23 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack.
Yield: 1 loaf (18 slices).