No knead dutch oven bread

From Jo Cooks

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I love to serve fresh bread to guests (or my family!), but sometimes I just don’t have the time to make a proper yeasted bread with several rises. This bread solves that problem. It’s ridiculously easy and quick to mix up – just toss a few (four, only four!) ingredients into a bowl and stir, no kneading required! Let it sit over night, shape and transfer it to a dutch oven – and you have a loaf of hot, fresh bread ready for lunch. Because it is baked with the lid on (causing steam), it creates a wonderful crust. This is a delightful artisan like bread, with minimal work. Have some quality extra virgin olive oil on hand (I prefer Spanish, which is a bit milder) for dipping and you have a crowd pleasing appetizer, snack, or side dish.

Here we go!

In a big bowl mix flour, salt and yeast together. Pour water into the bowl and using a spatula mix it until it’s all incorporated.

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Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 to 18 hours.

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Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Add your dutch oven (3.5 quart is best) to the oven and heat it as well until it’s at 450 F degrees. Remove pot from oven and remove the lid from it. Flour your work surface really well and make sure you flour your hands really well. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven.

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Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

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Yield: 1 loaf (serves 6)

Ingredients

3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups room temperature water

Directions

In a big bowl mix flour, salt and yeast together. Pour water into the bowl and using a spatula mix it until it’s all incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 to 18 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Add your dutch oven (3.5 quart is best) to the oven and heat it as well until it’s at 450 F degrees. Remove pot from oven and remove the lid from it. Flour your work surface really well and make sure you flour your hands really well. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Almost-famous breadsticks

From the Food Network

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These breadsticks were a hit in our house. My husband, Nathan, loved fresh from the oven breadsticks that were slathered in a heavenly mixture of butter and salt with a hint of garlic, our toddler loved them without any salty toppings, and I loved that I could throw them in the freezer to be easily reheated and enjoyed weeks later. They can be made two ways – one rise, which results in a slightly denser (but faster) breadstick, or with two rises which creates a softer and fluffier breadstick. Either way, they won’t last long. Any extras can be wrapped well and frozen. Frozen breadsticks aren’t as mouth watering as fresh-from-the-oven bread, but they are still a welcome treat on a cold winters night.

Here we go!

Make the dough: Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.

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Add the flour, butter, sugar, fine salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water…

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…mix with the paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough forms, 5 minutes.

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Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft, 3 minutes.

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Roll into a 2-foot-long log…

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…cut into 16 1 1/2-inch-long pieces.

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Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch-long breadstick; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

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Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the topping: Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano.

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Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.

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Yield: 16 breadsticks

Ingredients

For the dough

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one package)

4 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon fine salt

For the topping

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch of dried oregano

Directions

Make the dough: Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, fine salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water; mix with the paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough forms, 5 minutes.

Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft, 3 minutes. (**for fluffier breadsticks: lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough inside, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 1 hour; then continue as instructed**) Gently roll into a 2-foot-long log; cut into 16 1 1/2-inch-long pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch-long breadstick; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the topping: Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano. Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.

Note: These freeze well. Tightly wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap, place in a plastic bag, and freeze for up to one month. To eat, place breadsticks on a baking sheet and warm in a 350 F oven for 5-10 minutes (you don’t want to bake them, just warm them up).

Braided pesto bread

Barely adapted from Baked by Rachael

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This bread is layered with earthy basil, toasted pine nuts, and a hint of garlic and then topped with a crunchy, cheesy parmesan lid. Pesto is a favorite around here; we make our own and freeze it to enjoy throughout the winter (and that made this bread even easier to put together). When I saw this bread, which was not only loaded with one of our favorite summer treats, but also braided (so fun to do!), I knew I had to try it out. It was a welcomed afternoon snack; fresh out of the oven, with a dab of soft butter. The next night, I sliced thick pieces in half and made toasted sandwiches with prosciutto, balsamic vinegar mixed with mascarpone, fresh mozzarella, thick tomato slices, and sprouts. It was heavenly.

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Here we go!

Heat water to 115 degrees F. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Allow yeast to proof – about 10 minutes.

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To the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough attachment, add flours and salt.

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With mixer running on low, slowly add yeast mixture.

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Increase speed to medium high, mixing until dough comes together in a clean ball.

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Shape dough into a smooth ball and transfer to a lightly greased large bowl. (my dough was a little sticky here – a little added flour would smooth it out)

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Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.

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Meanwhile, prepare pesto sauce. (If you have some hidden in your freezer, go ahead and use that!) In a food processor, blend basil and garlic. Add cheese, blend quickly. With the processor on low (and the lid on), slowly drizzle in the olive oil. (Or, if you’re like me, pull some out of the freezer and let it thaw)

On a lightly floured counter, roll out dough to a 10 x 20 inch rectangle.

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Spread pesto sauce out to 1/2 inch from the edges.

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Starting at one of the shorter sides, tightly roll up dough, tightly pinching edges as you go.

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Using a sharp knife, carefully slice dough into thirds end to end.

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Carefully transfer to a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Braid dough, tucking under the ends.

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Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Lightly cover with a kitchen towel, and allow dough to rise for an additional 30 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 190 F.

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Yield: 1 braided loaf

Ingredients

Loaf

1 1/4 cups hot water

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Pesto (or you can use frozen if you have it)

2 cups fresh packed basil

2 cloves garlic

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Heat water to 115 degrees F. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Allow yeast to proof – about 10 minutes.

To the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough attachment, add flours and salt. With mixer running on low, slowly add yeast mixture. Increase speed to medium high, mixing until dough comes together in a clean ball. Shape dough into a smooth ball and transfer to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare pesto sauce. (If you have some hidden in your freezer, go ahead and use that!) In a food processor, blend basil and garlic. Add cheese, blend quickly. With the processor on low (and the lid on), slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

On a lightly floured counter, roll out dough to a 10 x 20 inch rectangle. Spread pesto sauce out to 1/2 inch from the edges. Starting at one of the shorter sides, tightly roll up dough, tightly pinching edges as you go. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice dough into thirds end to end. Carefully transfer to a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Braid dough, tucking under the ends. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Lightly cover with a kitchen towel, and allow dough to rise for an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 190 F.

Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Grapefruit and olive oil poundcake

From the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

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January means all things citrus, so of course that includes putting it into bread. While orange or lemon quick breads are more prevalent, I really enjoy the twist to this bread, which utilizes one of my favorite January fruits – grapefruit. This bread is super moist – probably because after it comes out of the oven, you pour a grapefruit syrup on top and then follow that with a luscious glaze that drizzles down the sides. This makes a great brunch addition, a decadent afternoon snack, or a light and refreshing dessert. If you’re looking for something slightly sweet and hinting of citrus, this cake is for you.

Make the cake

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, rub the grapefruit zest into the sugars with your fingertips.

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Whisk in the oil.

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Add the eggs one at a time, and whisk until combined. Scrape down the bowl.

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Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a second bowl.

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In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice and buttermilk/or yogurt.

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Add the flour and buttermilk/or yogurt mixtures, alternating between them, to the oil-and-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

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Spread the batter in the pan, smooth the top, and rap the pan on the counter a few times to ensure there are no air bubbles trapped.

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Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

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Make the grapefruit syrup

Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

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When the cake is finished, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then invert it onto a rack set over a tray. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick, then spoon or brush the grapefruit syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely while it absorbs the syrup.

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Make the glaze

Combine the confectioners’ sugar, grapefruit juice, and pinch of salt in a bowl, whisking until smooth. Pour the glaze over the top of cooled cake, and allow glaze to drizzle decoratively down the sides.

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Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

Cake

Butter for pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

2 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest (from 1-2 large grapefruits)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup raw or turbinado sugar (or granulated if you don’t have raw)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoons table salt

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

Syrup

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/3 cup grapefruit juice

Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

pinch of table salt

Directions

Make the cake
Heat the over to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, rub the grapefruit zest into the sugars with your fingertips. This will bruise it and help release as much grapefruit essence as possible. Whisk in the oil until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, and whisk until combined. Scrape down the bowl.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a second bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice and buttermilk/or yogurt. Add the flour and buttermilk/or yogurt mixtures, alternating between them, to the oil-and-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

Spread the batter in the pan, smooth the top, and rap the pan on the counter a few times to ensure there are no air bubbles trapped. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Make the grapefruit syrup

Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

When the cake is finished, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then invert it onto a rack set over a tray. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick, then spoon or brush the grapefruit syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely while it absorbs the syrup.

Make the glaze

Combine the confectioners’ sugar, grapefruit juice, and pinch of salt in a bowl, whisking until smooth. Pour the glaze over the top of cooled cake, and allow glaze to drizzle decoratively down the sides.

Easy chia jam

From Liv Life

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Chia seeds hold a special place in my heart. They are just so easy to add to so many delicious things – smoothies and puddings, and now jam. This jam is perfect for highlighting the mouthwatering taste of freshly picked fruit. Maple syrup adds a slight sweetness and depth, without being overwhelming. Chia seeds are the perfect thickener and provide a bit of texture. I decided to quickly put together these butter cookies from Chew Out Loud and really wanted a fruit jam to fill them. I’ve made this jam before using just blueberries; this time I used a frozen berry blend fresh from Michigan. In thirty minutes, I had healthy, flavorful jam to add to the cookies- and plenty of yummy leftovers! I love adding this three ingredient jam to oatmeal or yogurt, and of course it’s fabulous on toast or english muffin bread.  I just adore how the natural flavors of the fruit shine. Simple. Exquisite. Speedy. Perfect.

Ingredients

4 cups fresh or frozen berries (or fruit of your choice, such as peaches)

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup chia seeds

Directions

Place berries, maple syrup, and chia seeds into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Stir occasionally until the berries soften and begin to pop, then reduce heat slightly.  Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes thick – 15-20 minutes, up to 25 minutes, but keep a close eye on it at that point (you don’t want it to burn).

Remove from heat and spoon into jars.  Allow to cool, then cover and place in the fridge to chill.  Jam will remain fresh a week or two.

Cream biscuits

From Smells Like Home

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I’ve been making these biscuits consistently for the last two months. Please accept my apologies for waiting so long to share this recipe, and then go and make these biscuits. They turn into fluffy layered clouds in the oven, super soft and golden brown. Absolutely perfect with a dab of butter and your favorite jam. Or as a side for breakfast. Or layered with eggs and cheese (spinach and mushrooms, too?). Or as an accompaniment with soup.

And did I tell you the best part? They are so so so easy. Seriously, you can’t mess these up. These are the biscuits that you can make now and eat 30 minutes later. Plus, no yeast involved! I have tried those quick biscuit types and any yeasted bread or biscuit that claims you can make them from start to finish in an hour is doing your tastebuds a disservice. Yeasted things take time to develop flavor and I’m sorry to report that there are no short cuts. But luckily you don’t need a shortcut – you can just make these instead!

To make these biscuits even better, if that’s possible, is the fact that while you are making a mess (and be warned – these are messy to make!) you can double the recipe and freeze any uncooked biscuits for later. Just place them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, flash freeze for 4-12 hours, and then toss them in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag. Then grab whatever you need from the freezer, bake for 15 minutes, and you’ll have fresh from scratch biscuits ready to be devoured. Right now, you are only thirty minutes away from easy, pillowy, layered, jam filled biscuits. Fantastic.

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Yield: 8 biscuits, or more if you use a smaller biscuit cutter

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions

Place oven rack in the upper-middle position and preheat oven to 425º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of cream with a wooden spoon until a dough forms, about 30 seconds. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, leaving behind any flour left in the bottom of the bowl. Use the remaining 1/4 cup of cream to moisten any flour left in the bowl and add to the dough. Gather into a ball and knead for about 30 seconds or until smooth.

Using your hands, shape the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle. Using a 2 1/2-inch floured cutter, cut the biscuits into rounds and place on prepared baking sheet. Reshape the dough once to cut additional biscuits. If desired, the baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before baking. Bake biscuits until golden brown, about 15 minutes, making sure to rotate halfway through baking.

Roasted fall vegetable and sausage sheet pan meal

From Foodie with Family

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Anyone else completely in love with kabocha squash? Because I am totally, completely smitten for this squash. It’s not too “squashy” in flavor, instead being mild and slightly sweet. The texture is smooth and silky, so much so that it requires very little additional fat in your meal. The velvety texture coats your tastebuds and makes you feel as if you were eating something indulgently decadent. However, cutting this squash up is terrible. As in, please don’t chop off an appendage while doing so. BUT it tastes so absolutely divine that I keep buying them and eating them. I love kabocha squash as a substitute for butternut squash in this meal. This sheet pan meal is easy, fast, delicious, and healthy. I’ve made a variation of this recipe at least five times in the last two months. If you know me, you know I don’t often repeat recipes within the same month, so this meal is actually that good. The key is to cut your vegetables up so that they are all a similar size (except the onions, which can be in larger chunks), that way they will all finish cooking at the same time. This recipe is glorious for substitutions and I’ve listed different options in the ingredients list below – so feel free to play around and make it how you like it! Today, I cut up the rest of the squash we had in the fridge and added the last of a bag of frozen broccoli (omitting the meat and onions) – and lunch was served.

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Ingredients

1 pound butternut squash, trimmed, scraped of seeds, and sliced into ¾-inch cubes (alternatively use sweet potato, kabocha squash, pumpkin, or other favorite squash)

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed, and left whole, halved, or quartered, depending on size, to about ¾ of an inch in size (alternatively use steamed brussels sprouts cut in half, or fresh or frozen broccoli)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound sweet Italian sausage links, pierced several times with a sharp knife (alternatively use bratwurst, or any favorite sausage)

1-2 medium yellow or red cooking onions, trimmed, peeled, and cut into wedges that are 1-inch at their thickest/point

¼ to ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, according to heat tolerance

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. (If you have a “roast” option with a convection oven, that would be the ideal setting, but if not it will still work just fine)

Toss the butternut squash (or whatever you choose) and Brussels sprouts pieces (or your favorite fresh or frozen green veggie)  with the olive oil and salt. Spread it out on a sheet pan and nestle the sweet Italian sausage links (or brats) among the vegetables. Distribute the onion wedges evenly around the pan. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, turning the sausages after about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the sausages are beginning to brown in places.