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Seeded Butternut Squash Braid

Crunchy, green hulled pumpkin seeds (better known as pepitas)add a slightly nutty taste to this rich and moist bread. Because of their high oil content, pepitas can spoil quickly. Make sure you store them in the freezer to keep them fresh. —Cheryl Perry, Hertford, North Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min.+ rising Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    1 loaf (18 slices)


  • 2-3/4 cups uncooked cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas or sunflower kernels
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup pepitas or sunflower kernels


  • Place squash in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash squash (you will need 2 cups); cool to 110°-115°.
  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk and water. In a large bowl, combine the pepitas, butter, egg, brown sugar, salt, cooked squash, yeast mixture and 2 cups flour; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Shape each into a 26-in. rope; braid ropes. Transfer to a greased baking sheet; form into a circle, pinching ends together to seal. Cover with a clean kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • For topping, beat egg and water; brush over braid. Sprinkle with pepitas. Bake at 350° for 18-23 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 192 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1 fat.
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  • Leslie122858
    Dec 9, 2014

    I have made this more than once and it is absolutely delicious!! Everyone is amazed that it is made with Butternut Squash. I made a honey butter to go with it and it complimented it very well. I also made this, but instead of making a braid I made it into individual dinner rolls. Mine was not flat....every time I've made this it has risen extremely well. This one's a keeper!!!

  • ferndale52
    Dec 3, 2014

    excellent flavor, gorgeous to look at. is a little on the flat side.

  • mrsducky
    Nov 28, 2014

    I had trouble with this. ended up with about 2 more cups of flour. Is it really supposed to be 2 c. of squash puree? As written, my dough was like glue. Finished product was light and fluffy and very tasty. Any thoughts?

  • Siamese1212
    Dec 6, 2013

    Excellent bread! The flavor is wonderful! I did not go to the trouble of peeling and chopping up the butternut squash into cubes. I just cut it in half and baked it for 45 min, then scooped it out of the shell and mashed it up. so much simpler!

  • thomsmom
    Nov 22, 2013

    Have not made it yet but sounds great. Thought I would pass on that butternut squash is sold already cubed in the frozen food section of some stores such as Trader Joe's and some stores sell 10 ounce cartons of pureed squash either way it saves a lot of work.

  • ca24purple
    Oct 1, 2013

    Very good recipe! Good to dip in a garlic and olive oil mixture..sometimes I add rosemary for extra flavor to the dipper.

  • Tattersb
    Feb 23, 2013

    I make this with our holiday dinners and it always goes very quickly. It's a little time-consuming, but well worth the effort.

  • matteliz
    Dec 23, 2011

    I made this today to feed a houseful of hungry preschoolers. I omitted the pepitas and shaped it into cinnamon rolls (filled with cinnamon sugar but with no frosting on top) and they baked up perfectly. I usually have problems getting cinnamon rolls under- or over-done, but the texture was perfect.

  • mommysalami
    Dec 8, 2011

    I am not a yeast baker, but I had great success with this recipe! Got rave reviews from family and friends and will definitely be making again! I baked the squash instead of cooking on top of the stove giving it a richer flavor.