Butternut Romesco Braid

“My Spanish-inspired whole wheat bread recipe, like many others from my kitchen, was dreamt up from tastes experienced on my adventures. It’s a showstopper that’s full of flavor in every gorgeous bite.” — Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1 (¼ ounce) package RED STAR® Active Dry Yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 10 ounces frozen pre-cut butternut squash, thawed and puréed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups KING ARTHUR® Premium 
  • 100% Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 ½ cups KING ARTHUR® Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter, divided
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Romesco Sauce

  • 8 ounces bottled roasted red peppers, well drained 
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 3 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Heat half-and-half to 110°F – 115°F. Stir in yeast and sugar; wait 5 – 10 minutes for mixture to foam (proof). 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix squash, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and egg. Stir in the yeast. Replace paddle with dough hook; with the mixer on low speed, stir in whole wheat flour and bread flour, ½ cup at a time, scraping the side of the bowl as needed. Mix until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides; about 4 minutes. Continue to knead the dough for an additional 4 minutes. 
  3. Grease a large bowl and piece of plastic wrap with ½ tablespoon butter. Place dough in bowl; cover and allow to rise until doubled, 1 – 1 ½ hours.
  4. In food processor bowl, pulse sauce ingredients to make a spreadable purée. With the remaining butter, grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  5. Deflate dough; roll into 10" x 18" rectangle. Spread sauce on dough, leaving ½" border around edges. Sprinkle on ¾ cup Parmesan cheese. 
  6. Starting with short side, roll up tightly; pinch seam to seal. Place seam-side down; cut dough in half lengthwise, leaving it attached at the top. Twist the two pieces around each other tucking the ends under the loaf. Place in pan; cover with buttered plastic wrap; let rise until dough reaches top of the pan and is puffy looking.  
  7. Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over top of loaf. Bake 35 – 38 minutes. Tent with foil to prevent over-browning. The bread is done when golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the loaf registers 195°F – 200°F. 
  8. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to rack. Before serving, sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Store in the refrigerator. 

Yield

1 loaf, 16 servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

(1 SLICE, 91g): 210 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8g fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 20mg cholesterol, 530mg sodium, 25g total carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 1g sugars, 8g protein, 36mcg folate, 5mg vitamin C, 139mg calcium, 2mg iron.