Swirled butternut squash, feta and sage loaf
- October 2015
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 50 min, oven time 1 hour 30 min, plus rising and proving
A fun piece for any table, this recipe combines squash, thyme and sage to make a loaf full of autumnal flavour.
- 10.9g (4.5g saturated)
- 54.1g (8.2g sugars)
- 300ml whole milk
- 450g strong bread flour, plus extra to dust
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 medium free-range egg yolk to glaze
For the filling
- 600g butternut squash, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 150g feta, crumbled
- Small bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Gently heat the milk in a small saucepan until just starting to steam, then take off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the yeast, salt and sugar and combine well. Pour in the milk and quickly bring the dough together using a palette knife or wooden spoon.
- Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes (or knead in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook on medium speed for 5-8 minutes) until the dough springs back to a light touch. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until it has risen to almost double its size – about 1 hour (see Make Ahead).
- Meanwhile, for the filling, put the squash in a large roasting tray. Toss with the maple syrup and oil, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half the thyme leaves, then roast for 45-50 minutes, turning the squash halfway through. When cooked, it should be very soft inside and golden on the outside.
- Roughly mash the roasted squash, then mix with the feta and chopped sage. Once the dough has risen, knock it back (knead the air out) on the floured work surface for 1-2 minutes, then roll it out with a rolling pin to roughly 25cm x 30cm. Spread the squash and feta mix evenly over the dough. Starting from one of the short sides, roll the dough tightly into a swiss roll shape, put it in a 1 litre loaf tin and leave to prove in a warm place for around 40 minutes until risen and puffed.
- Gently brush the beaten egg all over the loaf and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes until risen and golden. When the loaf is turned out of the tin and tapped on the bottom it should sound hollow – if not, put back in the tin and return to the oven for 10 minutes more. If the top starts to brown too much, cover with foil. Leave the loaf to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing or tearing.
You don’t have to fill the bread dough with squash – you can roast different root veg, such as beetroot, until very soft. Or, if chocolate is your thing, spread warmed Nutella thickly over the dough instead of the savoury filling (warming it will help it spread easily).
Make the dough to the end of step 2 up to 24 hours in advance. Keep in the fridge until needed, but bring back to room temperature before knocking back, shaping and proving (step 4).
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