It'll come as no surprise to many of you that I am stir crazy, head over heel's, madly in love with all kinds of bread. You may remember my coconut lime loaf and those of you familiar with my blog will know that muffins, breads, pancakes and loafs are amongst my all time favorite fallback plans, not only because they are seemingly foolproof (and I do have a foolish tendencies!) but also because they taste so darn wonderful. I can't say I've ever had a bread disaster, which is why my visitors are pretty much always presented with a beautifully baked loaf when come they stay with me. Recently I had some visitors come to stay and they could not stop raving about this walnut, squash and apple offering. We enjoyed it with multiple cups of freshly brewed tea and had they not known already that our household was a vegan one, I seriously doubt this bread would've illuminated the fact our food contains no animal products. It never fails to excite me when people suddenly realize that vegan food does not equal bland and boring. How could it when you've got a moist bread bursting with sweetly goodness aiding your new found vegan understanding! I can only hope my friends will return home, regaling stories of what a wonderfully delicious vegan time they had.
Walnut, Squash, and Apple Bread [Vegan]
- 1 3/4 cup plain white flour
- 1 cup unrefined granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- A pinch of pink Himalayan salt or rock salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh squash or pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1 large, peeled and diced Bramley apple
To Make the Squash Purée:
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. pour water into a baking tray, approximately one-quarter full, and place the squash, cut-side down, onto the tray.
- Bake for an hour or until the flesh is completely soft. remove from the oven and allow to cool before scooping out the flesh using a spoon. Pulse into a smooth pulp in a blender. Use immediately or freeze. This will keep for several months in the freezer.
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and spices into a large bowl. Gently incorporate using a spatula.
- In another bowl, combine the squash purée, oil, and water. Whisk it together until it is thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the puree mix. Fold in using a spatula, ensuring not to overwork the mixture. If it appears dry, add a touch more water to the mix. Finally, add the walnuts, apple, and vanilla extract, reserving some for the top.
- Grease a loaf tin using a little soy or other vegan spread. Pour the bread batter into the tin and spread out using the spatula. Give the tin a few taps on the kitchen surface to ensure there is no trapped air. Top the loaf with the remaining walnuts and apple and sprinkle with a little more granulated sugar — approximately 1 tablespoon.
- Place in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes — it make take a little less time depending on your oven. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before attempting to remove it from the tin. Let it cool further on a lined cooling rack. Can be enjoyed warm or cold.