Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, and Halloween my favorite holiday. I fully embrace the omnipresence of pumpkin in everything this time of year, from donuts to soups and pasta sauces to coffee drinks. So of course this bread was right up my alley... brioche-like pumpkin bread with walnuts, cranberries and golden raisins. I've been having it toasted with my morning coffee and just the smell of it toasting is heaven. I found out that it also lends itself to another, rather unexpected, application, as well...
You can find the recipe over at This Bountiful Backyard, and I strongly encourage you to try your hand at it. It's not a quick bread, it requires yeast and an overnight rest, but the end result is *totally* worth it for the toasting potential alone! :)
Instead of making three small loaves as the recipe calls for, I made two regular sized ones. Having had some experience over the past few months in making bread, it came together with no trouble at all... in this case, my stand mixer did all the hard work. As the two loaves cooled, I had an idea... this stuff would make an awesome addition to what I planned for dinner: stuffen acorn squash.
I had planned to use just some plain bread cubes along with leftover pork roast and veggies to stuff the squash with, but then realized it would be that much more awesome with some of this bread instead. So I cut a few slices into cubes and toasted them in the oven until they were golden and dry, then mixed them in with the meat and veg and a bit of stock to make my stuffing. Mounded it up into a half a roasted acorn squash, serve with a nice autumnal beer and we had one of the best meals I've made in a while. The texture of the walnuts and the sweet tang of the cranberries and raisins added an extra level of awesomeness to this dish... Not bad for a make-it-up-as-i-go-along recipe! ;D