Go Ahead, Make My Week: Curried Kabocha Squash Flatbread

by Gena on April 24, 2011

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Happy Easter! As usual, a great discussion yesterday.

Once in a while, I get to work on a recipe that I just know for a fact is going to be great. It’s not often that I feel this way: I’m actually a pretty insecure cook, and I spend about 80% of my cooking (or uncooking) time doubting whether or not the dish I’ve created is any good. When I do feel certain that a recipe is bound to succeed, the cooking process is all the more exciting. And excited is precisely how I felt as I created my curried kabocha squash flatbread, spread it onto a tray, and smelled its sweet and nutty aroma seep into my living room as it baked.

It’s not really surprising that I love this new “bread” recipe. I love all bread, but flatbreads are particularly fun because they’re so versatile. With a little hummus or nut pate, they make a rich and filling snack; with some sliced cucumber or tomato, they make a light one. They also invite open faced sandwiches—”tartines,” as the French would say—and open faced sandwiches have always seemed more fun to me than regular ones (I think it’s because they take longer to eat, and they’re a little prettier than the norm).

And I think it goes without saying that I love kabocha anything; years ago, before I tasted kabocha, I remember reading about other bloggers’ obsessions with it and thinking “how could could squash possibly be?” The answer is really, really, really good. So good that I’ll endure the process of halving it with my cleaver, removing the seeds, cutting it into slices, and roasting it on a weekly basis: that’s a level of work that I extend to few foods!

When this recipe first occurred to me, I hoped to try both a raw and cooked version (sort of like my raw tomato bread, which has an easy oven option). As it turns out, I haven’t quite perfected the raw version (not for lack of trying), but the cooked version is already up to snuff. This is fun news for all of my readers who don’t have dehydrators, and don’t want to feel bad about making bread without one (which they shouldn’t, anyway). I actually loved the crispy, slightly browned taste and texture that cooking gave this flatbread, so I suspect I’ll always alternate between the cooked and raw versions, even when the raw one has been perfected.

No matter what, I know that this recipe is an instant keeper. Any recipe that gets polished off in my single person home within a matter of days is here to stay.

Curried Kabocha Squash and Flax Flatbread (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Yields 8-10 pieces

1/2 of a small to medium kabocha squash, cut into pieces and roasted or steamed (this should be about 4 even cups — the recipe should work with a bit more or less)
1/3 cup buckwheat flour (I made my own by grinding my buckwheat cereal in a food processor, but you can purchase it, too)
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1) First, remove skins from the kabocha. I find this much easier to do when the squash is cooked, which is why I did it after I’d roasted the squash (at 350 degrees for 25 minutes). I used a simple paring knife to remove the skin.

2) Place cooked and peeled kabocha pieces in a food processor with the flour, flax, salt, and spices. Pulse a few times to get it incorporated.

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3) With the motor running, add the water. You may need a bit more or less; I find that working with flax makes moisture variable, and it’ll also depend on how dry or moist your squash pieces are. In the end, you want a mixture that’s spreadable but feels dense.

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4) Spread the "dough" onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, and score it into 8-10 pices (I did 8).

5) Bake at 325 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until browning. Remove the bread from the oven, and flip it by cutting it into pieces and flipping them one by one; alternately, if it’s too delicate, you can place another sheet of parchment on top and flip the bread over, so that its underside is now face up on the other parchment sheet.

6) Keep baking till flatbread is crispy on the edges but still soft — about another 10-15 min.

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Readers often ask me if my raw breads are more like crackers. The answer is yup, they usually are. But what I love about this sweet and spicy flatbread is that it’s crispy on the ends, but still pliable and soft in the center.

I immediately set about eating my flatbread with some homemade sun-dried hummus – recipe to come in a few days! – and kale salad on top, alongside, and basically everywhere:

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Kabocha, hummus, avocado, kale…these are a few of my favorite things.

OK readers, no dehydrator required means no excuses with this flatbread! Give it a try soon. Raw readers, I assure you that I’m putting the finishing touches on my raw spin, so just stay tuned. And if this simply doesn’t appeal at all, why not give my avocado and kabocha sammie a try?

With another batch of this stuff in the oven, my week is already off to a promising start.

xo

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) April 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm

You are an amazing natural born chef. I’m shocked that you have a lack of confidence. Your recipes are creative and delicious. If I were you, I would have written 5 cookbooks by now!!!

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Jen April 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I’m somewhat of an insecure cook too. I think it’s because I’m such a perfectionist, that I’m scared to fail. I made a dinner the other night that totally flopped, and I had to tell myself multiple times to just let it go. There are always more meals to come! The other day, I failed making consommé in one of my classes at culinary school. I was concerned about my grade, and my chef said to me, “does it matter more what your grade is, or what you learn?” We learn from every mistake! I have to remember that. It’s always great to hear it from a professional. Everyone has kitchen disasters.

Anyway, enough rambling, and more about this bread. I don’t have a dehydrator, so I’m loving that it can be made without one! I wonder if it could be made with yams instead of kabocha. I often find myself with yams sitting around my kitchen, desperately calling out for me to use them.

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Sam [Low Carbon Diet] April 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm

This looks so amazing! I don’t have kabocha squash but I will be definitely trying this with pumpkin!

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Mandiee April 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Oh my goodness, this recipe is an absolute dream! Thank you so much for creating a delicious-looking gluten-free bread using my favorite food, kabocha. Was the 4-cup measure raw or cooked? I’ve been seeing tinny kabochas lately so using 1/2 of a medium might be hard to gauge.

Thanks again!

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Christina April 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm

This is in the oven now! Fastest turn-around ever for me trying a recipe online! I had one cup of leftover kabocha in the fridge (shocking I know) so I threw it together with heaping tablespoons of flax and coconut flour plus a little water and cinnamon. Smells yummy already!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Gena, such a wonderful recipe! It combines everything that is yummy and just turns it into a bread…komb squash, flax seeds, cinnamon…yum! I love how you also made it in the OVEN not the dehydrator.

I just posted about chocolate coconut kale chips and purposefully made them in the oven b/c 99% of readers don’t have dehyd’s and even for ones that do, most don’t have the patience for them. I rarely use my dehyd anymore b/c i just dont have the patience and even tho the oven isn’t always *as* good, it usually is darn close, and I like saving time :)

Happy Easter and hope you have a great week!

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rebecca lustig April 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm

oh yes, this recipe is definitely one to be GREAT.

happy easter!

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Hannah April 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Mmmmm so many of my favorite ingredients! I love that this is a non-raw version for us who don’t have dehydrators. I also like the idea that this one is softer than crackers.

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Lauren April 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Okay food twin, I’m coming to dinner! ;) this looks so freaking good! My mouth is watering! Hope you had a lovely Easter!

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bitt April 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Chris refuses to get kabocha because he thinks other squashes are better. I personally love buttercup, mostly because I harvested a whole crop one year and I feel devoted to them. I’m sure the texture is similar enough to use another type of squash in this.

I agree that a lot of raw “breads” are more cracker like. I posted on Friday that I think that’s due to the use of flax seeds. Chia as a portion will help it stay softer and bendier more like flatbread.

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Katie April 24, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Yum. Just yum. Best Easter present ever.

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Ela April 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Yummy! This sounds right along the lines of my recent carrot bars and onion bread–I’m starting to really like this kind of technique. And packs well, stores well, all good.
Kabocha really is yummy–will have to see if I can scare some up on our trip this next week: it’s hard to find up here in the boonies.
Happy Easter!

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Hannah April 25, 2011 at 12:03 am

As one of the dehydrator-less horde, I do so love a cooked bread recipe! Particularly flatbread, as I have an interminable fear of yeast :)

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pure2raw twins April 25, 2011 at 7:22 am

girl you know we love our flatbreads and love avocado and kabocha squash combo just as much!!! This looks great! Look forward to your raw version too. We have noticed for us certain foods just overall taste better cooked you know? We have tried raw sweet potato chips and were disappointed. But everyone taste something different I guess.

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Mckella April 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

I still haven’t tried kabocha! I’ve meant to for over a year now, but i just haven’t done it yet! Shame on me!

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Jess April 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Your recipe looks fantastic. The sketchy produce market near me started carrying kabocha squash this winter, and I’m so obsessed I’m shocked my palms haven’t turned orange yet. Looking forward to trying this!

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melody polakow: Vegan for 3.33 a day April 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

This sounds amazing! … and hopefully you will become less insecure in the kitchen… it shocks me you feel that way.. you’re awesome and creative!

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Christine (The Raw Project) April 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Oh my goodness, this looks wonderful! What an amazing creation and I can’t wait to try it with a kabocha sitting in my pantry! I’m such a curry fan, thanks for the recipe!

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Ann-Louise April 26, 2011 at 8:44 am

This looks absolutely wonderful! Thanks for yet another inspiring recipe.

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats April 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm

That looks stunning, and combines many of my favorite flavors :)

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