Spelt Sourdough with Bacon, Maple Syrup, and Butternut Squash Puree
If I were to name this recipe, it would be "the forgotten one" because I completely forgot to post it during the holidays when I originally made this wonderful Butternut Squash bread. Unfortunately, due to the crazy schedule at work, the recipe got lost in time. But it was so good that I have decided not to keep it to myself till next year even though it was clearly inspired by the Holiday season.
In the past, I have experimented with adding a pumpkin puree in this Pumpkin Sourdough Bread recipe and sweet mashed potatoes in the Sweet Potato Sourdough recipe, and both loaves turned out delicious, with a pillow-soft texture and a crispy crust. So, I've decided to keep experimenting with mashed vegetables and use a butternut squash next. I fell in love with this bell-shaped vegetable after making a simple dish of oven-roasted butternut squash with bacon and maple syrup, so I thought why not add the same ingredients to the bread recipe.
I made two versions of this bread - one with regular bacon and one with turkey bacon. In my opinion, the 1st one tasted better because the flavor was more intense. I started off with 300 grams of canned organic butternut squash puree (the same amount I used in pumpkin and sweet potato bread), but after the first try, I realized that it made the dough too liquid, so I had to reduce it by half. I think that if I had used the freshly steamed or roasted butternut squash, I would be able to get away with a bigger amount as well as make the bread even more nutritious.
When I read about the health benefits of this delicious vegetable, I couldn't believe how something that tastes like a dessert can have so many vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants and at the same time be low in calories! Where have you been all my life? Or, rather, where have I been? Ha-ha. So many sweet recipes are coming to my mind!!! But for now, I'll focus on the bread, which for this holiday photo, I tried to make into a rosemary wreath with this simple circular scoring. And I love how it came out!
Even though this Butternut Squash Sourdough Bread was Holiday inspired, it will make your breakfast toast taste amazing any time of the year!
Strain excess fat after frying the bacon to avoid it getting into the dough
If your butternut squash puree is too runny, reduce the amount or the amount of water, otherwise, the bread can turn out too flat
As usual, I simplify my recipes so they are easy to follow for beginners. I avoid using complex numbers and ingredients, so the recipe is more clear and less intimidating for new bakers. I list ingredients for 2 loaves so you can bake 2 and share 1 as a gift. To make a single loaf, simply divide each ingredient by 2.
Ingredients for 2 loaves:
Levain 1:2:2 Ratio
70 g Sourdough Starter
70 g Bread Flour
70 g Spelt Flour
140 g Water (bottled or filtered)
300 g Levain
600 g Water (bottled or filtered)
700 g Bread Flour
300 g Spelt Flour
150 g Butternut Squash Puree
20 g Salt
50 g Bacon or Turkey Bacon (chopped and fried)
2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
Rice Flour for dusting
Prepare the Starter (morning 10 am)
Feed 70g of starter with 70g bread flour, 70 g whole wheat flour, and 140g water, cover, and leave it on the counter to ferment for 6 hours. With room temperature at 76°F, it should at least double in size by then.
Make the Dough (afternoon 4 pm)
Combine 300g of starter with 600g of water at 85-90°F in a large mixing bowl and mix until the starter is dissolved.
Add 200g of butternut squash puree, 2 tbsp of maple syrup, 50 g of bacon, and mix.
Then add 700g of bread flour, 300g of spelt flour, and 20g of salt to the mixture and mix the dough with fingers until all of the ingredients are well incorporated with no dry bits left.
Cover and leave it on the counter for 30 minutes.
Stretch and Fold
For the next hour and a half, perform stretching and folding technique every 30 min: take one side of the dough, stretch it as far as you can, and fold it on top of the dough. Turn the bowl counter-clockwise and do it 7 more times, stretching and folding each side.
Cover and leave the dough on the counter for 2-3 hours to rise at about 76°F room temperature.
Shape and Proof (evening 8 pm)
Mist the bannetons with water and sprinkle with Rice flour.
Gently take the dough out of the bowl, place it onto an unfloured surface, and divide it into 2 equal parts.
Shape the dough into the final round shape using the same stretch and fold technique as above, stretching and folding 4 sides until you see a smooth side of the dough (about 8 times).
Gently turn the dough with your hands round and round to create the surface tension and make it into a tight ball. Do not over-shape.
Flour the top with bread flour, put each piece in the banneton seam side up, and dust the top of the dough with rice flour.
Place the bannetons in plastic bags and let the dough rest overnight in the fridge.
Bake (next day)
Test the dough if it's ready to bake by gently pressing it with your finger. If it springs back up slowly - it's ready.
Preheat the oven to maximum temperature (550°F in our case).
Carefully flip the dough out of the banneton into the dutch oven or a cast iron combo cooker (no need to preheat it.)
Dust off the rice flour with a brush, mist the top of the dough with a little bit of water and cover it in all-purpose flour, spreading it evenly.
Score the dough with a razor blade and put the lid on.
Reduce the temperature to 475°F and bake for 30 min.
Remove the lid, reduce the temperature to 450°F and bake for another 15-20 min uncovered.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool completely before cutting.
Tools I used: