Butternut Squash and Sunflower Seed Baguette

It's appropriate that this should come back to Australia because it's evolved from the La Tartine Pumpkin Sourdough recipe in Baker:the best of international baking from Australian and New Zealand professionals by Dean Brettschneider and Lauraine Jacobs.

Pumpkins in the UK are generally only seen around the end of October for turning into Halloween lanterns. There seems to be a sales drive on butternut squash here at the moment so that's what I use. The amount of squash in the recipe is the amount of cooked flesh one small squash produced. You need to be a bit flexible about the amount of squash, the moisture it produces and the water in the final recipe. Peel the squash, cut into segments, remove the seeds and bake in a moderate oven until tender. Puree and add to the water.

I use a plain flour starter at 100% hydration (equal quantities of flour and water). This lives in the fridge and is refreshed twice before use in the following way. Remove from the fridge. Take a small amount (50g) and mix with twice the amount of water and flour (100g + 100g). Stand at room temperature for about 8 hours (morning to evening or overnight - whatever suits your programme). To this 250g add the same amount of water and flour (250g + 250g). Reduce or increase these quantities as you require, just keep the proportions the same.

The Dough

Ingredient Weight US Volume Bakers Percentage
Plain flour 840 g 29.63 oz 6.58 cups 100.00%
Starter (twice refreshed) 240 g 8.47 oz 1.88 cups 28.57%
Water 264 g 9.31 oz 1.12 cups 31.43% (hydration)
Squash 318 g 11.22 oz 1.4 cups 37.86%
Salt 18 g 0.63 oz 1.28 tbspns 2.14%
Sunflower Seed 50 g 1.76 oz 3.52 tbspns 5.95%
Total Weight: 1730 grams / 61.02 ounces
Total Flour Weight: 840 grams / 29.63 ounces

Bakers percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the Starter is not counted. Note: This recipe was uploaded in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures, let us know of any corrections.

Method

You can mix and prove the dough in you usual way but since doing a Dan Lepard course 3 months ago I've gone back to hand mixing and oiling rather than flouring the work surface.

Mix all the ingredients except the sunflower seeds in a bowl until the dough just comes together. Very roughly form a ball, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Lightly coat the work surface and your hands with olive oil, scrape out the dough and kneed for 60 seconds. Form into a ball. Wash and dry the bowl, lightly oil, replace the dough and cover. Repeat this twice at 10 minute intervals.

At the end of the first hour, remove the dough from the bowl, press out to a rectangle and then gently stretch. Sprinkle sunflower seed over the surface of the dough. Fold the dough in thirds (like a business letter), turn and then stretch the other way. Sprinkle with seed, fold in three and return to the bowl, seam side down. Repeat this twice at hourly intervals, first proof total four hours.

Divide the dough into six and form into baguettes slightly less long than the width of your baking sheets. Place in improvised couches. Lay a tea towel on a board or baking sheet with a tail of a few inches hanging over the end. Flour the tea towel as you go along (rye is best). Lay one baguette at the far end and then form a corrugation so that it is separated from the second and repeat making sure everything is well floured. You will probably need to add a second tea towel to take all six. Fold the ends of the tea towels over and the sides in so that the package supports the baguettes as they rise.

Prove for about four hours, you need to judge this yourself according to temperature and starter activity. (The ones pictured were in the fridge overnight and went into the oven after an hour at room temperature.)

Roll the baguettes gently off the couches onto baking sheets. If they stick a bit, don't panic, just gently free them with your fingers, lifting the couche so that the weight of the dough helps to pull them free. Gently stretch them to the width of the baking sheets. Straighten them using a long knife or ruler, slash and bake in a preheated oven at Gas 9 (240C, 475F) for about 15 minutes then reducing the heat a little, rotating the sheets for even baking. Probably 35 minutes in total.

Mick

14 comments

Sigh. I feel so ignorant when it comes to produce and its species etc... compared to you people. Over here, people are not too particular...or, rather, exposed to such variety in any one vegetable or animal meat for that matter. We don't know our vegetable by its specie name. I go crazy during trips overseas when I see a stall selling nothing but all kinds of tomatoes.

Talking about pumpkins...I'm showing off for Jack. [url=http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=76513&hl=]clicky[/url]. If I remember correctly, he had another monster which he hollowed out and used to serve soup out of for some dinner function. Hmm...must check with him on this year's harvest.

Thanks Carla. That is much clearer than my post.

Andrew

Great looking bread Mick. I must try that recipe one day. So many breads, so little time.

Matthew

Just a quick clarification about "squash" and "pumpkin"- in Australia (or at least from New South Wales, where La Tartine is), squash are small yellow vegetables that taste something like a zucchini (or courgette for Brits). Pumpkin refers to both what is called "butternut squash" in the UK, and the vegetable you can make a jack-o-lantern with. I only found this out because I was looking for butternut pumpkin/squash in Sainsburys the other day.

Butternut squash/pumpkin

[img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ea/Cucurbita_moschata_Butternut.png/250px-Cucurbita_moschata_Butternut.png[/img]

So you may have been using what the recipe intended after all...

Nice recipe by the way...

Andrew

[embarrassed edit] I see that it is your recipe anyway, so the question of intentions is somewhat silly. As any intentions were yours anyway.

Regards,

Andrew

[quote="coelecanth"]
Just a quick clarification about "squash" and "pumpkin"- in Australia (or at least from New South Wales, where La Tartine is), squash are small yellow vegetables that taste something like a zucchini (or courgette for Brits). Pumpkin refers to both what is called "butternut squash" in the UK, and the vegetable you can make a jack-o-lantern with.
[/quote]

Hi Andrew,
Since I used to grow and sell Heirloom Seeds I feel I need to explain a bit:
In America there are
- summer squash (Curcubita pepo) Zuchini, Crookneck, courgettes, spaghetti squash and those little items used for decorations. They will all cross with each other!
- wintersquash (Curcubita moschata) butternut is the most common one here.
- pumpkins (Can be anything as long as they are big and round!). So you will get round orange items that are of the pepo family and taste terrible just as well as the nice Curcubita maxima varieties like 'Blue Hubbard' or 'Vif d'Etampes'.

In Australia and NZ there are summer squash and pumpkins.
Summer squash are usually as above, while anything that will last over winter is dubbed a pumpkin.

So you really have a big minefield in the curcubita family. Even more so if you like to grow a couple of them and save seeds...

For baking I would recommend a nice dry winter squash or pumpkin like buttercup or butternut or "Urichi Kuri" which sometimes sells as "Hokkaido pumpkin" in Europe. It is a small, quick growing member of the C. maxima guild and very recommended!

I judge a recipe's success by the speed at which my collegues devour the bread that it produces.

This recipe went in a single day, which is something of an office record.

A great, nutty loaf. Very tasty.

Thanks for posting the recipe and photo. Seeing it makes me want to try it out right now, but have to wait til work is done. I will let you know how I got on. Nice one.

He is a miracle man, as we speak I bake his bread and well I consider him my friend even though he is all the way in those hills up there in Wales! Imagine this, he goes to France for a vacation and bakes bread! Kind of a brash but wonderful hommage to the place where everything culinary is!

Bless his heart, just hope he publishes his book and at least for now posts the moro recipe too!

Cheers,
Jeremy (The ugly American)

Mick,

thanks for posting this recipe here. It is nice that your great advice and recipes might find a new home after the demise of breadbakers.net

This pumpkin sourdough is fantastic. I have made it a couple of times. I confess that each time I have used almost twice the amount of water that you suggested in your recipe. The last time it ended up being about 50% of the dry flour weight (ie about 420g for the quantities you suggest).

I have been having a lot of success with your refreshment schedule, and now usually start with 20g starter, 40g water, 40g flour. Then 12 hours later I add 100g water and 100g flour, to yield 300g starter.

cheers
Dom

This is a great recipe. I made it with Buttercup squash, a bit sweeter in taste than butternut twice. The first time I was working with a newly worked starter and the baguettes didn't have a very sour taste. I also had toasted the sunflower seeds. The second time I didn't toast the seeds and added 70 grams of diced oil soaked sundried tomatoes and it was great. I have been baking for 26 years and recently got the home equipment of stiff baking linen to make free formed baguettes. I had been using a baguette pan but baking them directly on a baking stone makes a far superior baguette. I came across this recipe in the early summer and have been waiting for the winter squash season to give it a try and I love it! So do my room mates!

Glad you like it.

With a couple of tweaks it went on to win the bread prize at Ludlow Food Festival (UK)

http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1429

Mick

Mick

This recipe is definitely going to become one that I make often. I am going to try it with some pepper. I have some butternut squash and jalapeno peppers in my garden here in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, so when I can schedule the building of my starter, I am going to try it again. The starter I used is always refreshed with organic rye flour and spring water. When I made your recipe I refreshed with organic whole wheat flour and then after the 2nd refresh, I used unbleached bread flour. The bread was a hit with my roommates.

Mary

Hi Mary,

When we bake squash as a veg we usually sprinkle a little crushed chilli and olive oil over it and I thought just a hint of spice wouldn't do the bread any harm.

Mick

Wow. I know it has been said a gazillion times, but this is really a great recipe (aside from some informative tidbits about squashes and pumpkins). It's good that I stumbled upon here. I was looking for something unique to bake for my wife. I just hope I get this right. Thanks a lot, Mick!

Sincerely,
Kevin