If you want to get this brown butter spice bread in the oven more quickly, I can imagine skipping the browning of the butter, I also imagine pure coconut oil, just melted, could be a nice alternative to the brown butter. I used pureed winter squash, but ripe bananas would likely work as an alternative. Also, don't sweat it if you can't find a garam masala spice blend, you can experiment with another Indian curry or spice blend if you like, or pumpkin pie spices.
Brown butter spice bread
- ½ cup / 4 oz / 115g unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- 1 tablespoon toasted hazelnut oil - or almond oil, or more melted butter)
- 1 ½ cups / 6 oz / 170 g whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for the pan
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 cup / 5 oz / 140 g fine grain natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar, sifted plus another 1 ½ tablespoons for topping.
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup / 4.5 oz / 130 g well-pureed roasted winter squash*
- ¼ cup / 60 ml milk
- ⅓ cup / 1 oz / 30g lightly toasted sliced almonds.
- Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat until it's brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma. This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. You want the butter solids nicely toasted, but not scorched. Stir in the toasted hazelnut oil. Set aside and allow to cool but not set. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.
- Preheat oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the top ⅓. Butter and flour a 1-lb loaf pan, or roughly 9x5x3-inch.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, garam masala, and sea salt into a large bowl. Set aside. In a smaller bowl whisk the sugar, eggs, squash, and milk. Whisk in the still melted butter, but make sure it isn't hot to the touch. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in most of the almonds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar and remaining almonds, and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the center of the cake is well set. Do your best to avoid over-baking, part of the charm of this cake is its moistness, when it is baked properly. Use a cake tester if necessary.
*To make pureed winter squash: Roast large wedges or small cubes of skinned and seeded pumpkin, butternut squash, red kuri squash, etc. in a 375F / 190C until cooked and tender throughout. Puree with a hand blender until smooth.
Prep time: 25 min - Cook time: 60 min