Wednesday 14 July 2010

NCR Zucchini Bread

Ever since starting this blog I have always recorded more cooking that I ever have time to post about. Some recipes I love but the right time to post them just never seems to arrive. Today my inspiration comes from my archive and this month’s No Croutons Required event rather than Bastille Day! I am excited to be finally posting a recipe that has been lingering in my notes since November last year.

November seems a long time away because so much has changed since then. Back then, I was on maternity leave, we were still planning our trip to Scotland, the weather was getting uncomfortably warm, Sylvia was sitting and smiling, but had not started walking and babbling and pulling her socks off at every opportunity. She was still sleeping in her little white cane cot. I had other pressures then, but I was finding more time then to bake bread than I am now.

Perhaps that is why I thought of breads not yet posted, when Lisa and Jacqueline announced that this month’s No Croutons Required challenge would be to bake a bread that could be served with soup or salad. (I took the below photo of the bread with jam and cream cheese well before I had encountered the idea for this event!)

I love good bread and wish I had more energy to try different flavours. This zucchini bread was great. I made it after a purchase of fresh yeast necessitated some bread baking. The bread was soft with green flecks of zucchini and a golden chewy crust. I was a bit unsure if I had drained the salted zucchini enough because mine was incredibly moist and salty. Next time I think I would reduce the salt a bit but otherwise it was wonderful.

Meanwhile, I have lots more recent recipes to post, as well as quite few from my backlog. I am trying to cook at least one or two new and interesting dishes each week, often inspired by blogging. This week I have made a big pot of this tomato lentil soup. But I sometimes want the comfort and convenience of easy meals I have eaten since I was a child. Recently I just fancied some tinned tomato soup. Either of these tomato soups would be wonderful with this zucchini bread.

The zucchini bread was inspired by YeastSpotting, the weekly bread blogging round up, and I am sending my version back to Susan in gratitude.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: They Who Dare: Masterchef and Ricki’s Tagine
This time two years ago: Tagged: Top Ten Photos
This time three years ago: Dench bread and Dukkah: simple pleasures

Yeasted Zucchini Bread
makes 1 loaf
Adapted from Cook’s Encyclopedia of Baking via Canela and Comino

350g zucchini (or courgettes)
2 tablespoons salt (I would use less next time)
19g fresh yeast or 2½ teaspoons of dry active yeast
1 tsp honey or other sweetener
3 cups bread flour, plus extra for kneading and the sponge
olive oil to glaze

Grate zucchini into a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave for at least 30 minutes and then squeeze out as much water as possible.

Combine the yeast and honey then ¼ cup warm water and 1 tablespoon of flour to make the sponge, If using fresh yeast, mix yeast and honey first till the mixture is liquid but if using dried yeast just mix all together. Set aside for 15 minutes until quite bubbly.

Add drained zucchini and remaining flour (about 3 cups) to yeast mixture. Stir in 150-200ml warm water. My dough was very sticky so although the recipe says 200ml I would add a little less and see how it holds together before adding the remainder. It also might be that I didn’t drain my zucchini enough and added more moisture this way.

Tip dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes until smooth and elastic. I added a bit of flour as I was kneading because my dough was so soft. Return dough to bowl. I didn’t grease my bowl but you could do if you prefer. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. It took me about 1¼ hours on a warm day.

Punch down the dough. Knead briefly and shape into a cylinder. Place on a lightly greased baking tray or a bread tin (I used the latter) and leave to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

During the second rise, preheat oven to 220 C. When bread is risen on baking tray or in tin, brush top with olive oil and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack.

On the stereo:
The BBC sessions: Belle and Sebastian


  1. Oh, a yeast base zucchini bread! That is just lovely.

  2. I'd have a go at making this bread but my sons don't like zucchini at all. But your loaf looks delicious. Have you ever made zucchini scones?

    When you next have a chance to make bread try substituting tomato juice for some of the water. I also added some oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes for a little more flavour.
    Have a good week.

  3. This looks very interesting! At first I thought it would be like a banana bread but this is a proper risen bread! :)

  4. I've never seen a yeast zucchini bread before! Most intriguing and delicious looking. I love Yeastspotting... I can get stuck for so long on there!

  5. The bread looks so wonderful and fluffy! I love it!

  6. I love the backdrop in your tomato soup picture! So vibrant :) But golly, why would Sylvia be pulling off her socks? You couldn't take off my double-layers of socks in this cold weather, even if you bribed me with chocolate! ;)

  7. Wow, have to try this bread...real bread with zucchini...looks so yummie!

  8. Thanks Anh - indeed it was!

    Thanks Pene - shame your sons aren't into zucchini - but this is not a bread to hide them - will have to try your tomato juice tip - sounds great

    Thanks Lorraine - a sweet unyeasted zucchini bread is what you would usually expect but this was quite unlike that

    Thanks Ashley - I love all the ideas in yeast spotting - those I can do and those I aspire to

    Thanks Jenn - it was soft and fluffy - more so than many other breads I have made

    Thanks Hannah - gulp the backdrop for the tom soup is an ikea tray! (food props anyone!) and as for pulling off socks - it is one of sylvia's latest pleasures on car trips - though with some new shoes she isn't able to as easily

    Thanks Juliana - hope you enjoy it!

  9. Whoa I really love the idea of baking the zucchini into a yeast bread! I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before! Perfect choice for NCR.

  10. ooooh I LOVE LOVE LOVE zucchini - and this bread looks wonderful! I swear it looks better than what you see in the shops - congrats :)

  11. WOW, a zucchini bread made with yeast! How fabulous! And just in time for the season.

  12. Thanks Joanne - I love vegetables in bread and am always on the look out for new ideas like this

    Thanks Lisa - yes I'd buy a loaf of this if I saw it in a shop - if only ....

    Thanks Tanna - yes this is a perfect recipe for the surplus

  13. That looks soooo good! I am perpertually amazed at how much you cook and post. . .my problem is the opposite, not enough time to cook and then scrambling to find something to post! A backlog actually sounds pretty good to me ;) I'm not a huge fan of yeast-based breads but the idea of zucchini in one really intrigues.


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