Colin elevates a humble winter squash bread a few notches. It’s especially tasty slathered with some of his smoky fig mostarda. (Find this and other recipes online at

  • 1 medium winter squash, such as acorn, butternut, or kabocha
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla paste or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnut pieces

Makes 2 loaves

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease 2 bread pans.
  2. Peel squash using a vegetable peeler, then cut open and scoop out the seeds. You may clean and roast the seeds as a snack or garnish for the bread, if you wish. Cut the squash into usable pieces and grate on the coarse side of a box grater. Scoop into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, olive oil, and vanilla paste. Whisk sugar and spices into wet ingredients, then add flour mixture and stir to combine. Fold in grated squash and walnut pieces.
  5. Spoon batter into two prepared bread pans. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the middle of each loaf comes out clean. Cool about 10 minutes, then jiggle the pan to loosen bread. Turn loaves out onto a baking rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving, sliced.

From “Cross Cultural Holiday” article in the December 2017 issue.