Macrina's Squash Harvest Bread

Eve M. Tai
The mini squash harvest bread
Butternut squash is one of Nature's genius ingredients, amenable to both savory soups and Macrina Bakery and Cafe's Squash Harvest Bread. A stalwart in Seattle cafes, the bread is a panopoly of fresh roasted butternut squash, nutmeg and cinnamon topped by generous hunks of walnuts and pumpkin seeds. One slice will fill your daily required good-for-you veggies and nuts/seeds as well as your appetite for wholesome goodness.

Macrina owner-chef Leslie Mackie says that slices of Squash Harvest Bread as well as the mini loaves are their biggest sellers in the Macrina cafes. Also available at locations such as Caffe Fiore, Java Bean Cafes, Nordstroms E-Bars, Top Pot Doughnuts and Metropolitan Markets, the bread is so popular that "There are some days when our wholesale pastry staff is baking close to 95 loaves of our squash bread for deliveries early the next day."

The recipe was born in 1993 - the early days of the cafe - in partnership with Macrina's first pastry chef, Lynn Upson. "We wanted a hearty, wholesome quick bread that captured the fall season flavorings, but was not overly sweet," says Mackie. "We really liked how the ground roasted pumpkin seeds and walnuts add a nice texture. The inspiration came from our German braided artisan loaf called Vollkorn."

The Harvest Squash Bread is most often served sliced at room temperature. But Mackie suggests indulging a little. "It can also be toasted and topped with melted butter! Yum!"

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